News in Brief
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Like the energy-efficient light bulbs being handed out for free, ideas on saving energy flowed freely at Saturday’s “Go Green ” Save Green” event.
One idea that was floated was that the city of Glenwood Springs’ electric system could offer some type of green incentive such as rebates for installation of solar-electric systems. That suggestion came from Steve Haines of the Carbondale solar-electric company Sunsense.
“What we really need is Glenwood municipal electric to start offering solar electric rebates to help offset the high financial hurdles people have to overcome to get started with solar-electric,” Haines said.
Haines said he’s talked with a lot of people in Glenwood recently who are interested in using solar energy but haven’t because of the costs. He thinks solar-electric rebates on the city’s system would encourage more people to harness solar energy. Glenwood’s electric system serves about 4,460 residential customers and 1,241 commercial customers, with energy coming mostly from a Nebraska agency, according to the city’s website.
“I think [the city] is exploring it,” Haines said.
Dean Moffatt, with Sundesigns Architects, also encourages the city to offer such incentives. But he’s got other visions as well. The large geo-thermal aquifer that heats hot springs pools in and around Glenwood could be used to heat homes and businesses, he said.
“Glenwood Springs has a wonderful geo-thermal resource and all it really serves is the pool,” Moffatt said. “The proven resource could easily serve the entire town.
… It could be done without affecting the pool at all.”
One example of green efforts locally, Moffatt said, is the Midland Center building his company designed.
“It’s totally heated and cooled by using the earth,” he said.
Jennifer Campbell returned from a Nurses With A Purpose trip to Africa with some new purpose of her own.
Campbell, who works as an ICU nurse at the Vail Valley Medical Center, said the trip motivated her to make more of a difference with her life. Maybe more volunteering or going back to school ” whatever it ends up being.
“I certainly was at a point in my life when I went on this trip that I wanted to remember what it was that inspired me to become a nurse,” she said. “We get caught up in documentation and charting and the legal side of things. I wanted to simply help people. It kind of brought me back to what it is I like about nursing.”
Campbell stayed a week longer than the Nurses With A Purpose (NWAP) trip to travel on her own and just got back about a week ago. The two-week NWAP trip included work at a hospital, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, and also work in a village about three hours outside Kampala. The group of seven nurses, along with NWAP executive director Lynne Jammaron, next traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There they worked at another hospital and in an orphanage. The group also spoke at a nearby nursing school.
Leaving the strongest impact on Campbell was the slums of Kampala. Conditions were worse than the rural village, she said, because of factors such as a higher level of pollution, drugs and prostitution. People dumped trash in a river and also used it as a water source. Many people they helped lived in villages of cardboard boxes that a “slumlord” actually charged rent for, she said.
“It was just a shock that people actually live in this kind of squalor,” Campbell said. “I think overall it was just kind of that sinking feeling of, ‘This is what it really is, and this is how people truly live.’
“I think there’s a lot of guilt involved as far as why do we live the way we do and why do they live the way they do.”
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.