| AspenTimes.com

How big tech is intersecting with care for older adults

Dr. Cathy Bodine, a clinician and associate professor in the school of medicine and college of engineering at the University of Colorado.
Dr. Cathy Bodine, a clinician and associate professor in the school of medicine and college of engineering at the University of Colorado.

Since the days before cell phones were even a thing, Dr. Cathy Bodine has been working to improve technology for people with disabilities or people aging into disabilities. 

Bodine, a clinician and associate professor in the school of medicine and college of engineering at the University of Colorado, wants to reduce social isolation — a goal she had long before COVID-19. 

“Social isolation leads to death just as much as cardiovascular disease,” she said. 

Bodine is the featured speaker and co-host in a free web talk on July 15, “How big tech is intersecting with care for older adults,” presented by Renew Senior Communities and co-hosted by Renew CEO Lee Tuchfarber. Here’s a look at some of the topics that will be explored. 

Many seniors are eager to learn new technology

There’s a common myth that seniors aren’t interested in technology, but Bodine said disinterest is usually the result of a more complex problem. 

“The technology doesn’t always meet their needs,” she said. “Seniors love technology, that’s not the problem — it’s the usability, user experience and their own history that interferes.”

Through her research and development of new technologies, she consistently finds that the key to making technology successful for seniors is how intuitive and useful it is. If the benefit of using a technology outweighs the cost of using — cost as in the learning curve, which can be frustrating — seniors will persist, she said. 

Bodine points toward the transparency of application icons as an example. Those who started using technologies that featured these icons from a young age understand that the button with the circle and line through it is the on/off button. But it’s not intuitive for all users. 

Free online talk on technology and aging

What: Renew Senior Communities webcast, “How big tech is intersecting with care for older adults.”

Who: Co-hosted by Cathy Bodine, clinician and associate professor in the school of medicine and college of engineering at the University of Colorado; and Lee Tuchfarber, CEO of Renew Senior Communities

When: July 15, 3 to 4 p.m.

Where: Online. Register at renewsenior.com.

“There are a lot of things that make technology really challenging and increase the cognitive load of being able to learn,” Bodine said. 

The pandemic has revealed this exact challenge — telehealth visits are simple for those who know how to log onto a video conferencing meeting, but it’s not easy for someone who has never used that type of application. 

Renew is experimenting with different communication devices to remove the challenges inherent in older adults holding a video conversation with their adult children, Tuchfarber said. 

“We have noticed that even an iPad can pose challenges for an older adult who is not accustomed to using one — it requires a staff member to operate a device for the resident in order to enable the video conference,” he said. 

Renew has looked at other devices and recognized that the Echo Show 8, for example, has a “drop in” feature that allows an adult child to simply appear on the screen at a scheduled time. In other words, the older adult resident does not have to know how to operate the device. 

“They can simply pick it up and start talking with their children and grandchildren,” Tuchfarber said. “Removing this barrier means that we can reconnect families easily.”

User-centered design

The average age of software engineers around the world tends to be under 35, Bodine said. While they have brilliant intentions and want to design good products, their own personal experiences influence their work. 

“If these engineers have no access to the end users, they’re building a product based on their knowledge rather than the knowledge of their average user,” she said. “Technology has to be developed with the end user in mind, in a way that’s more intuitive.”

Lee Tuchfarber, CEO of Renew Senior Living.
Lee Tuchfarber, CEO of Renew Senior Living.

Every semester, Bodine has her engineering students work with either a senior or someone with a disability to figure out what the real user problem is with a specific technology. Once students have a better understanding of the problem that needs to be solved, they can design technology around that issue. 

“Think about the lifespan of someone who is 85 years old. Think about the innovations they’ve experienced in their lifetime — automatic transmissions, a man on the moon, development of the computer, cell phones,” Bodine said. “They have a history of seeing lots of technological growth and development, but what we’re not doing so well today is designing the technology for them to be able to use it.”

Bodine goes to the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas each year to meet with people from small and large companies around the world. Her hope is to train the next generation of engineers to be more adept at thinking more broadly about technology design. 

“They’re developing technologies that seniors will buy — the market is driving innovations in how we design and develop these technologies,” she said. 

Emerging technologies

Because of the demographic that is currently aging — Baby Boomers, the second-largest living generation behind Millennials — mainstream technology companies are increasingly interested in aging. Bodine said they’re starting to understand that their business models have to shift to include older populations. 

From artificial intelligence to smart-home designs, there are cutting edge technologies that can not only help seniors with social isolation, but also with mental and physical health. One technology Bodine is studying is the use of wearable sensors that can detect respiratory function, heart rate, temperature and other metrics. Sensors in a toilet can detect if someone has an infection. Bodine is particularly excited about wearable sensors’ ability to detect balance. 

“One of the key indicators for mortality and morbidity is falling. Our balance changes as we age. If we can measure when the balance stability is shifting, then maybe we can get you into physical therapy or senior exercise programs,” she said. “It’s a very exciting time to be working in technology.”

Have you started investing for your future?

Financial Advisor Brian Thomas, of Edward Jones in Aspen.
Financial Advisor Brian Thomas, of Edward Jones in Aspen.

About 42 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 don’t have a retirement savings account, and research shows that nearly 40% of Americans couldn’t come up with $500 in cash without selling assets or taking out a loan.

Financial Advisor Brian Thomas, of Edward Jones in Aspen, wants to help young professionals and business owners in the Roaring Fork Valley buck these trends. 

Thomas grew up visiting Aspen with his family on ski trips. After he finished graduate school and picked up a master’s degree in finance from The Ohio State University, he knew this was where he wanted to end up. But his goals are much greater than just living here to enjoy the lifestyle. 

“This job gives me an opportunity to become a member of my community by helping individuals and businesses plan for their future,” he said. “I want to partner with clients throughout their life stages to achieve their goals — building these lifelong relationships with my clients is really important to me.”

Here are the three types of clients in the Roaring Fork Valley that Thomas is particularly excited about helping. 

Young professionals

Young people in Aspen and throughout the valley often make sacrifices in order to live here. Those who work jobs in the hospitality and service industries also face drastic seasonal shifts in earning potential.

“Unfortunately in this valley, there are a lot of hurdles to being able to live and work here sustainably. You have to create a budget for yourself and understand your long-term goals,” Thomas said. “A lot of people don’t budget, and that’s a great place to start.”

The first step when Thomas meets with young clients is understanding what their long-term goals are. Too many people don’t think about where they’d like to be in 10, 20 or 30 years, he said. 

Once those goals are identified, it’s time to create a more rigid budget to help clients understand what they can spend on discretionary items and what they could be saving. 

“You want to be able to spend the money you earn and have fun, but it’s so much more advantageous to save small amounts when you’re young rather than play catch-up when you’re 40,” he said. “It might not be fun to put $100 a month into a Roth IRA when you’re in your 20s, but you’ll thank yourself and the power of compound interest 30 years from now.”

Are you ready for an investing strategy?

Brain Thomas, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones, wants to help Roaring Fork Valley individuals and businesses develop customized savings strategies. If you’re not sure where to begin, Thomas can help. 

Email brian.thomas@edwardjones.com for more information or visit www.edwardjones.com/brian-thomas.

Parents who want save for children’s education

Student loan debt is a major hurdle for young people in America. Instead of contributing to a 401K or a Roth IRA, many people are spending $500 to $1,000 a month on their student loan payments with no money leftover for savings. 

“It can really affect individuals for quite a long time post-graduation,” Thomas said. “One of the greatest gifts you can give to your children is financial freedom after college.”

He believes strongly in 529 plans, which are tax-advantaged savings plans for future education costs. The money in the account grows tax-free and there are no penalties as long as the funds are used for qualified education expenses. 

“I love to work with young families and bring value to their lives,” Thomas said. “I want to understand what’s important to my clients and create customized strategies for them, and 529 plans are a really great option for parents.”

Business owners

The strong core of small businesses in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley are major drivers of the local economy. Thomas wants to help those people create sustainable, long-term businesses that don’t just help the business owners, but also their employees. 

Business owners who offer some sort of retirement savings plan have greater employee retention and satisfaction, Thomas said. And that leads to greater economic good for the community and better quality of life. 

“It can be tough to get retirement solutions through smaller businesses, but I can help set those up,” Thomas said. “I want to help businesses help their employees save for retirement.”

New Snowmass Clinic now open in Base Village

The state-of-the-art walk-in clinic features seven fully-private patient rooms, a triage room, general X-ray services and more, plus an expanded gym and new rehabilitative technologies for physical therapy patients.
The state-of-the-art walk-in clinic features seven fully-private patient rooms, a triage room, general X-ray services and more, plus an expanded gym and new rehabilitative technologies for physical therapy patients.

In the span of 12 years, a plan to relocate the Snowmass Clinic to a custom-built facility was delayed by the Great Recession and a global pandemic, but the anticipation ended when the new clinic opened its doors on July 1.

A lower-cost alternative to the emergency room for non-life-threatening conditions, the walk-in clinic serves as a quasi-urgent care option in Snowmass where patients can have convenient access to basic medical care, imaging and physical therapy.

“This is a bigger, brighter facility that’s really going to improve the patient experience,” said Dr. Gibans, medical director of the Snowmass Clinic. 

The Snowmass Clinic in Base Village

The Snowmass Clinic is an outpatient department of Aspen Valley Hospital, open to walk-in patients seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment necessary. Virtual visits may also be available, please call to inquire.

The new clinic also includes space for rehabilitation services on-site.

For more information, visit aspenvalleyhospital.org/Snowmass-Clinic or call 970-544-1518. For more information about rehabilitation services available, call 970-544-1177.

Functionally designed

Dr. Gibans and Kelly Hansen, the clinic’s practice manager, have been with the Snowmass Clinic since 1991 and 1992, respectively. When they moved into its Village Mall location in the winter of 2008-09, the thought was that it would be temporary and they’d stay for maybe two years. Twelve years later, they’ve learned a lot about what a functionally-designed clinic space could provide in terms of efficiency and quality. 

Both Dr. Gibans and Hansen used that experience to help design the new space with staff and patients in mind.

“This new clinic is really designed for what its purpose is — it was built from the ground up as a (walk-in medical) clinic,” Hansen said. 

Other simple conveniences such as parking — the parking garage has spaces specifically designated for clinic patients — are also expected to improve the overall experience. 

“There will also be a drop-off point right out front for buses and hotel vans,” Hansen said.

Snowmass Clinic waiting room with views across the Brush Creek Valley.
Snowmass Clinic waiting room with views across the Brush Creek Valley.


Dr. Gibans and Dr. Kimberly Levin are the clinic’s two on-staff emergency medicine physicians, supported by registered nurses, EMTs, X-ray technologists and physical therapists. The Snowmass Clinic also offers limited laboratory services, and a new X-ray machine will deliver stronger, more reliable imaging services. 

The Snowmass Clinic can treat patients with illness or injury. They see a lot of urgent issues such as lacerations or fractures, but anything that requires more serious intervention or testing such as a CAT scan would be sent to the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital. 

“If someone’s pretty sick and they need more than basic testing, or they’ve had major trauma, we want them to go to the emergency room,” Dr. Gibans said. 

Safety measures in place for COVID-19

Aspen Valley Hospital and its network of care locations, which include the Snowmass Clinic, have implemented a COVID-Clean Pledge to ensure medical care is provided in a safe environment. 

“You can have peace of mind that we are taking every precaution to see patients and treat patients in a safe and clean environment,” according to Aspen Valley Hospital. “This is paramount because putting off treatment, especially for chronic conditions, can cause greater problems down the road and is a threat to our patients’ and our community’s health.”

Due to COVID-19 and because Snowmass Clinic is a walk-in clinic, there are extra screening measures in place for all patients. A nurse will be screening patients over the phone from the front door to assess whether the patient is allowed into the clinic. Anyone with respiratory complaints will not be allowed inside. Dr. Gibans said protocols could change depending on the state of the pandemic. 

“Unfortunately, what’s true today may not be true in two weeks and we may have to change things,” he said. 

Highlights from Aspen Valley Hospital’s COVID-Clean Pledge (for a complete list, visit www.aspenvalleyhospital.org/covid-clean-pledge):

  • Universal masking of staff, patients and visitors at all times.
  • All staff and visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Seating in waiting areas has been reconfigured to allow for physical distancing.
  • Magazines and reading materials have been removed from waiting areas, except those required by law.
  • Surgical and obstetrical patients prior to induction are tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival and screened upon arrival.
  • AVH’s Environmental Services department is highly trained in cleaning protocols for infection prevention.
  • All disinfectants are approved for use against human coronaviruses.
  • Housekeeping provides additional cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
  • Equipment is thoroughly disinfected after each patient use.
  • Staff are not permitted to work if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, and they must follow strict guidelines set forth by the employee health department in order to return to work.
  • AVH took a highly proactive approach to securing and protecting its supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that has allowed us to treat all COVID-19 patients with protective measures that exceed CDC recommendations.

What’s the answer to slowing the spread of COVID-19 for older adults?

Dr. Michael G. Schmidt (Ph.D.) Controlling Acquistion of Hosptial Acquired Infections Pandemic Flu Preparations and Disaster Preparedness Bacteiral pathogenesis

“There’s a lot of stupid floating around out there.”

That’s what South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said during a recent news conference in which he pleaded with the public to make better decisions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“That’s the best quote ever — it’s how you explain the recent surge (in cases),” said Dr. Michael Schmidt, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Schmidt is the guest host of an upcoming webcast, “How Colorado Can Work Smarter to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Older Adults,” presented by Renew Senior Communities. Renew CEO Lee Tuchfarber is co-hosting.

“This is a plague for which the human race has a choice,” Dr. Schmidt said. “We already know how to stop this virus dead in its tracks.”

Much of the discussion will focus on how we can do our part as a society to slow the spread, but Dr. Schmidt will also discuss promising light at the end of the tunnel. From the potential that oral polio vaccines can safely and cheaply protect the U.S. population to excitement over bluetooth technology expanding the efficiency of contact tracing, Dr. Schmidt said various stop-gap measures could make a big difference until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine.  

“The only thing more infectious than this virus is hope,” he said.

Personal responsibility

The way we control the virus is really straightforward, Dr. Schmidt said — “it’s hygiene.”

Wearing a mask to protect others, washing your hands and keeping a physical distance of at least six feet from other people are the most effective safety precautions.

“If we’ve learned one thing, there are a lot of folks out there who are infected and don’t know it,” he said. “The mere act of speech actually can spread the virus. So, if you’re out carrying your business and talking, wear a mask.”

Physical distancing is your only hope if you’re not wearing a mask. The “hope” being that the virus dissipates in the air before smashing into your face.

“Many medical folks are wearing face shields because the virus can come in from your tear ducts,” Dr. Schmidt said.

As for hand hygiene, simple soap and water is all you need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds.

Strict safety protocols have proven to work at Renew Senior Living’s two communities in Aurora and Glenwood Springs. Tuchfarber said all residents at both communities have remained COVID-free while a great number of the senior living facilities in Colorado have experienced outbreaks.

Renew put various safety measures in place for staff before they enter the building, and they’ve even provided staff with meals to take home to their families to decrease their need to go to the grocery store. Much of this decision-making is data-driven, with various phases of safety measures implemented depending on the R-naught (Ro), which is the estimate of the number of people to whom each infected person spreads the virus.

“There’s an inherent spreadability of the virus itself, but there’s also an environmental factor,” Tuchfarber said. “So behavior can really affect the Ro.”

 Join Renew and Dr. Michael Schmidt virtually on July 1

What: “How Colorado Can Work to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 for Older Adults,” a webcast talk series presented by Renew Senior Communities.

When: Wednesday, July 1, 3 to 4 p.m.

Where: Register for free at renewsenior.com.

Featured co-host: Dr. Michael Schmidt, PhD, is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a well-published expert in the area of

infectious disease control and pandemics. He ran the American Society for Microbiology

and set its research priorities for vaccines and testing. He hosts a podcast called, “This

Week in Microbiology.” Dr. Schmidt is an advisor to MicrogenDx, the second largest next

generation testing lab in the U.S.

Join Renew and Dr. Michael Schmidt virtually on July 1

What: “How Colorado Can Work to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 for Older Adults,” a webcast talk series presented by Renew Senior Communities.

When: Wednesday, July 1, 3 to 4 p.m.

Where: Register for free at renewsenior.com.

Featured co-host: Dr. Michael Schmidt, PhD, is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a well-published expert in the area of

infectious disease control and pandemics. He ran the American Society for Microbiology

and set its research priorities for vaccines and testing. He hosts a podcast called, “This

Week in Microbiology.” Dr. Schmidt is an advisor to MicrogenDx, the second largest next

generation testing lab in the U.S.


Testing serves a vital role in understanding and controlling the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Schmidt said. He points to data from Taiwan, a densely populated island that has managed to keep its number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date to less than 450 thanks to aggressive testing and contract tracing.

“Going forward, given that we know there is significant asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission of the virus, pre-emptive testing may be a way we help slow the spread of the virus  in areas that have suddeningly seen a surge in an increase in new cases,” he said. “Simply, local areas may wish to routinely screen random members within their community looking for an up-turn in the number of cases. Such a program will be especially important to companies with public-facing employees, so that they can ensure that their employees and customers are as safe as possible.”

Renew is working on a strategy for preemptive testing rather than waiting for a positive case and then reacting to it. Tuchfarber said Renew should be implementing that new protocol very soon.

“Preemptive testing of all staff on a regular basis, unprompted by a positive test result, is presently a rarity in our industry, but is an important measure to assure safety. We are preparing to integrate this program in our COVID-19 safety regimen,” Tuchfarber said. “This is an extra measure of safety that we feel strongly about taking.”

Facilitating a global response

In an effort to facilitate a global response, scientists are looking at three strategies: diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

Diagnostics essentially look at how we can slow the spread faster and better, while therapeutics focus on the use of drugs.

“If we’re going to restart the economy, we need two to three drugs so the virus doesn’t adapt to the drugs like it did with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1980s,” Dr. Schmidt said.

Vaccines are the area for which Dr. Schmidt is truly excited. There are more than 90 candidate vaccines currently being studied, with microbiologists, structural biologists, physiologists and others all pulling in the same direction.

7 formas en las que tu participación en el censo beneficia a toda nuestra comunidad

Presentado por el Comité de Conteo Completo de Aspen a Parachute

Asegúrate de que tu voz se escuche

Ser contado en el censo de EE. UU. es una forma de hacer que tu voz se escuche a nivel local, estatal y federal. Tu participación influye en todo, desde la representación política hasta importantes servicios públicos de la comunidad. ¡No te quedes en silencio, ayuda a tu comunidad! El censo de EE. UU. es completamente seguro y su información personal es confidencial.

Para obtener más información, visita a2pcensus2020.com o 2020census.gov.

Si vives en los Estados Unidos, independientemente de si naciste aquí o de cuál es tu estado migratorio, la ley te exige ser contado en el censo de EE. UU. 2020. Hay solo 10 preguntas, que se estima toman unos 10 minutos en completarse.

Desde 1790, el recuento del censo de EE. UU. ha influenciado todo, desde la representación política en el congreso hasta la financiación federal para servicios públicos esenciales.

Los condados del Roaring Fork y Colorado River Valley, así como otras partes interesadas formaron el Comité de Conteo Completo de Aspen a Parachute como un esfuerzo de colaboración para aumentar la participación en el censo en nuestro valle. A través de su campaña “Juntos contamos”, el objetivo del comité es desacreditar los mitos y calmar los temores sobre el censo.

Dado que el conteo del censo solo ocurre una vez cada 10 años, deja que esta lista sirva como recordatorio de por qué no debes ignorar el censo: la participación de cada residente es esencial para la vitalidad de nuestras comunidades.

Ninguna pregunta sobre ciudadanía

En toda la comunidad, el efecto a largo plazo del clima político actual y la confusión en torno a la cuestión de la ciudadanía daba diferentes matices a las percepciones de las personas sobre el censo, dijo Phillip Supino, director de desarrollo comunitario de la ciudad de Aspen y miembro del Comité de Conteo Completo.

Los tribunales federales bloquearon permanentemente los planes de la administración Trump de agregar una pregunta al censo que habría consultado si tu eres ciudadano estadounidense. El comité está recordando a todos los residentes del Roaring Fork Valley que no habrá tal pregunta en el censo 2020.

Tus respuestas al censo son confidenciales.

Las respuestas del censo se utilizan para producir estadísticas, y nada más. La oficina del censo de los EE. UU. tiene la obligación legal de mantener la confidencialidad de tus respuestas.

Las preguntas del censo solicitarán información acerca de la cantidad de personas que viven en tu hogar, los nombres y fechas de nacimiento de cada ocupante, raza, sexo y relación entre ellos. El censo no te preguntará acerca de tu religión, afiliación política o ingresos.

Además, todo el personal de la oficina del censo hace un juramento vitalicio para proteger tu información, y cualquier violación trae consigo una multa de hasta $250,000 y/o hasta 5 años de cárcel.

Los datos del censo NO se pueden usar en tu contra por ningún motivo

Las preguntas del censo solicitarán información sobre el número de personas viviendo en tu casa, los nombres y fechas de nacimiento de cada ocupante, raza, sexo y relación entre ellas. El censo no te cuestionará sobre religión, afiliación política o ingreso.

La ley federal garantiza que tu información personal y tus respuestas no puedan ser utilizadas en tu contra por ninguna agencia gubernamental. Eso significa que tus respuestas al censo no pueden ser compartidas por la oficina del censo con las agencias de inmigración o policiales.

“Sin lugar a dudas, bajo ninguna circunstancia, los datos del censo se pueden compartir entre las agencias”, dijo Supino.

Conteo insuficiente conduce a un financiamiento insuficiente

Los números del censo equivalen a fondos federales para servicios comunitarios vitales como: carreteras, transporte, hospitales, servicios de emergencia, alimentos subsidiados, atención médica y más.

Por cada persona que se cuenta en el censo, Colorado recibe alrededor de $2,300 en fondos federales. Eso es por persona, por año, durante los próximos 10 años.

Eso significa que solo una persona que no se cuente podría resultar en la pérdida de $23,000 dólares federales hasta el próximo conteo del censo en 2030.

“Con solo unos minutos de tu tiempo, puedes ayudar a garantizar fondos para servicios comunitarios importantes como educación, mejoras de carreteras y servicios de salud y humanos”, dijo Jenn Ooton, subdirector de la ciudad de Glenwood Springs. “Además, nuestras comunidades del Roaring Fork y Colorado River Valley están en mejores condiciones para planificar el futuro cuando tenemos recuentos de población precisos”.

Alex Sánchez, director ejecutivo de Valley Settlement, una organización que trabaja para mejorar las vidas de las familias inmigrantes, dijo que la comunidad latina del Roaring Fork Valley fue muy poco contada en el censo de 2010. Esto lleva a una incapacidad a nivel local para apoyar completamente a todos los miembros de la comunidad con los recursos necesarios.

“Esperemos que este año el conteo del censo pueda ser un verdadero reflejo de esta comunidad”, dijo.

Mejor representación política.

Cuando una comunidad se cuenta con precisión, puede representarse de manera más efectiva. Colorado es uno de los cinco estados en occidente que podrían obtener un escaño adicional en el congreso después del censo 2020, pero primero necesitamos una participación exitosa en el censo.

“Todos tenemos un interés personal en asegurarnos de que estamos participando”, dijo Sánchez. “Independientemente del estado migratorio, este es nuestro deber cívico”.

Participar en el censo es fácil

Tu invitación para participar en el censo 2020 se entregará entre el 12 y el 20 de marzo. Una vez que la recibas, puedes responder en línea (www.2020Census.gov), por teléfono (llama al centro de llamadas del censo utilizando el número de teléfono que figura en tu postal de invitación) o puedes enviar tu formulario de respuesta por correo postal.

Día del censo (1 de abril) y otras fechas importantes

Cada dirección postal física recibirá una postal con instrucciones sobre cómo participar en el censo de EE. UU., además de cartas recordatorias, desde hoy hasta el 27 de abril.

El censo de EE. UU. comenzó a aceptar respuestas en línea, por teléfono y por correo el 12 de marzo. El 1ero. de abril se considera el día del censo, lo que significa que todas las preguntas que respondas en el formulario del censo deben incluir a las personas que viven en tu hogar a partir del 1ero. de abril.

De abril a junio, se realizarán recuentos de instalaciones grupales como dormitorios y residencias para ancianos.

En mayo, los trabajadores del censo visitarán los hogares de los no encuestados.

Y finalmente, en diciembre, los datos del censo serán entregados al presidente y al congreso.

7 ways your Census participation benefits our entire community

Editor’s Note: This sponsored content is brought to you by the Aspen to Parachute Complete Count Committee

Census questions will ask for information such as the number of people living in your household, the names and birthdates of each occupant, race, sex, and relationship to one another. The Census will not ask about your religion, political affiliation or income.
Make sure your voice is heard

Getting counted in the U.S. Census is a way to make your voice heard at the local, state and federal level. Your participation influences everything from political representation to important public community services. Don’t sit in silence, help your community! The U.S. Census is completely safe and your personal information is confidential.

To learn more, visit a2pcensus2020.com or 2020census.gov.

If you live in the United States — regardless of whether you were born here or what your immigration status is —  you’re required by law to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. There are just 10 questions, estimated to take about 10 minutes to complete.

Since 1790, the U.S. Census count has impacted everything from political representation in Congress to federal funding for essential public services.

Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valley municipalities and other stakeholders formed the Aspen to Parachute Complete Count Committee as a collaborative effort to increase census participation in our valley. Through its “Together We Count” campaign, the committee’s goal is to debunk myths and ease fears about the census.

Since the census count only happens once every 10 years, let this list serve as a reminder why you shouldn’t ignore the census — every single resident’s participation is essential to the vitality of our communities.

1. No citizenship question

Community-wide, the long-term effect of the current political climate and confusion around the citizenship question was coloring people’s perceptions of the census, said Phillip Supino, director of community development for the City of Aspen and a member of the Complete Count Committee.

Federal courts permanently blocked plans by the Trump administration to add a question to the census that would have asked you if you’re an American citizen. The committee is reminding all Roaring Fork Valley residents that there will be no such question on the 2020 Census.

2. Your census answers are confidential

Responses to the census are used to produce statistics, that’s it. The U.S. Census Bureau is legally required to keep your answers confidential. 

Census questions will ask for information such as the number of people living in your household, the names and birthdates of each occupant, race, sex, and relationship to one another. The Census will not ask about your religion, political affiliation or income.

In addition, all Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your information, and any violation comes with a punishment of up to $250,000 fine and/or up to 5 years in jail.

3. Census data can NOT be used against you for any reason

Courtesy Photo

Federal law guarantees that your personal information and answers cannot be used against you by any government agency. That means your census answers cannot be shared by the Census Bureau with immigration or law enforcement agencies.

“Unequivocally, under no circumstances, can census data be shared between agencies,” Supino said.

4. Undercounting leads to underfunding

Census numbers equate to federal funding for vital community services such as roads, transportation, hospitals, emergency services, subsidized food, health care and more.

For every person who is counted in the census, Colorado receives about $2,300 in federal funding. That’s per person, per year, for the next 10 years.

That means just one person who isn’t counted could result in the loss of $23,000 federal dollars until the next Census count in 2030.

“With just a few minutes of your time, you can help ensure funds for important community services such as education, road improvements, and health and human services,” said Jenn Ooton, assistant city manager for the City of Glenwood Springs. “Additionally, our Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valley communities are better able to plan for the future when we have accurate population counts.”

Alex Sanchez, executive director of Valley Settlement, an organization that works to improve the lives of immigrant families, said the Roaring Fork Valley’s Latino community was grossly undercounted in the 2010 Census. This leads to an inability at the local level to fully support all members of the community with necessary resources.

“Hopefully this year the census count can be a true reflection of this community,” he said.

5. Better political representation

When a community is accurately counted, it can be more effectively represented. Colorado is one of five states in the West that could get an additional Congressional seat after the 2020 Census, but first we need successful Census participation.

“We all have a vested interest in making sure we’re participating,” Sanchez said. “Regardless of immigration status, this is our civic duty.”

6. Participating in the Census is easy

Your invitation to participate in the 2020 Census will be delivered between March 12-20. Once you receive your invitation, you can respond online (www.2020Census.gov), by phone (call in to the Census Call Center using the phone number on your invitation postcard), or you can mail in your response form.

7. Census Day (April 1) and other important dates

Every physical mailing address will receive a postcard with instructions for how to participate in the U.S. Census, plus reminder letters, from now until April 27.

The U.S. Census started accepting responses online, by phone and via mail on March 12. April 1 is considered Census Day, which means all questions you answer on the census form should include the people living in your household as of April 1.

From April to June, counts will be done of group facilities such as dorms and nursing homes.

In May, census workers will visit the homes of non-respondents.

And finally, in December, the Census data will be delivered to the President and Congress.

8 things everyone should know about filing for bankruptcy

Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by Diana A. Ray, Attorney at Law

Bankruptcy is a fresh start for people who are unable to pay down their debts (see factbox). Bankruptcy gets rid of dischargeable debt, completely free and clear, and it’s tax free.
Getty Images
How do you know if it’s time to consider bankruptcy?
  • You’re making minimum payments and sinking in interest rates.
  • You’re finding yourself without any disposable income every month.
  • You’re unable to pay down your debts.
  • Your expenses are more than your income.
  • You’re considering credit consolidation (talk to an attorney before you go this route).

Schedule a consultation with Glenwood Springs bankruptcy attorney Diana A. Ray to learn if bankruptcy is right for you. Visit dianaraylaw.com, call 970-945-8571 or email Diana Ray at dianaraylaw@gmail.com for more information.


Attorney Advertising. This article is designed for general information only. The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 Diana A. Ray, Attorney at Law is a Debt Relief Agency helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

When people fall on hard financial times, there’s one opportunity that creates a fresh start: bankruptcy.

The most responsible people in the world can still end up in a hard financial situation, said Diana A. Ray, a bankruptcy attorney in Glenwood Springs. And now, given the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy, more and more people are finding themselves in scary and uncertain situations.

“I want people to know that bankruptcy is not a bad thing — it’s a right that we all have,” Ray said.

While bankruptcy is often a last resort, it’s also symbolic of hope and new beginnings. Here are some of the most important facts about filing for bankruptcy.

1. Bankruptcy is a fresh start

A bankruptcy gets rid of a person’s dischargeable debt, completely free and clear, and it’s tax free. Ray said if you owe a creditor $20,000, for example, and the creditor will settle that debt with you for $10,000, you’d still have to pay taxes on the remaining $10,000. With a bankruptcy, you don’t owe the debt or the taxes — and it’s gone for the rest of your life.

When you file for bankruptcy, you have to take a credit counseling course which helps debtors budget their income and expenses.

“It really helps them in the long run to avoid filing for bankruptcy again,” Ray said.

Ray points out that once you file bankruptcy, you’re on the hook for any debt acquired after the date of the bankruptcy filing. A person cannot file for bankruptcy again for another eight years.

2. Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of

Ray’s bankruptcy clients are hard-working, responsible people who have fallen on hard times for various reasons. Some were trying to keep their small businesses afloat, while others built credit card debt they thought they could pay back.

For some, a job loss occurs at the same time as unforeseen medical or other expenses — next thing you know you just can’t keep up with the bills, Ray said.

“It doesn’t mean you’re incompetant or irresponsible,” Ray said. “There’s a stigma around bankruptcy, which is really unfortunate.I would say that most of my clients can’t avoid it.”

3. Creditors can no longer collect on you

Diana A. Ray, Glenwood Springs bankruptcy attorney.

Once you file bankruptcy, creditors are no longer able to collect on you. What’s more, these creditors can no longer harass you regarding the outstanding debt.

“If you’re getting calls from creditors, once you file they have to stop,” Ray said. “It’s called an automatic stay and there are enormous penalties for creditors if they violate it.”

4. Some debts are excluded

Not all debts get erased after filing for bankruptcy. The most common debts that are considered nondischargeable are alimony, child support payments, student loans, and certain tax debt.

“It’s important to talk to an attorney to figure out your options and which debt is dischargeable and which is not depending on which Chapter of bankruptcy you file” Ray said.

5. You will be able to build your credit again

While it’s true your credit score will go down after a bankruptcy, it’s not hard to rebuild your credit and increase your score after filing.

“For many of my clients, their credit score was already bad,” Ray said.

The bankruptcy filing shows up on a credit report for 10 years, but within a year of filing you can start to see increases to your credit score.

“I counsel people on how to increase their credit,” Ray said. “After you file, you’ll be bombarded with offers for loans and credit cards. The interest rate might be higher because of the bankruptcy, but you will get offers.”

Ray said it’s important to build credit again by opening accounts and paying them off. You could open one credit card account, for example, and charge just $20 per month to it and then pay it off in full.

“It shows you’re paying off your monthly debt,” she said.

6. Your home may be protected

Many people worry that because they own assets such as real property, they won’t be able to hold on to those assets after a bankruptcy.

“That might not be true,” Ray said. “Your home is protected as long as it’s under the exemption amount. If you meet the criteria — and most people commonly do — it’s protected.”

There are certain criteria you have to meet, thus, it is always a good idea to discuss your options with a bankruptcy attorney.

7. You can file without your spouse

If you’re married, you can file for bankruptcy on your own or jointly with your spouse. If you file solo, the bankruptcy won’t appear on your spouse’s credit, Ray said.

“In determining whether a joint or single filing is warranted, it just depends on the scenario,” she said. “I routinely file for clients without their spouse being involved.”

8. Bankruptcy is complicated, an attorney is highly recommended

Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process. There are many nuances to the law that could backfire if overlooked.

For example, listing all creditors, listing the appropriate exemptions for assets, and knowing what kind of expenses you can or can’t incur leading up to the filling. An attorney will navigate all of those details.

“At any point, if you’re contemplating bankruptcy, call an attorney because there’s so much planning that needs to be done — so many things you need to do or not do that could affect your bankruptcy.”

“If you think you might file in the future, it’s so important to talk to an attorney. If you think you might be in this situation six months from now, talk to me now.”

Pandemic highlights the challenges facing caregivers

Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by Renew Senior Communities

Amelia Schafer, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, is co-moderating the Friday webinar.
Free webinar on the challenges facing caregivers

What: A special webinar discussion, “The Hidden Crisis Facing Family Caregivers During COVID-19.”

Who: Nadine Roberts Cornish, gerontologist and author; and co-moderated by Amelia Schafer, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado and Renew Senior Communities CEO Lee Tuchfarber.

When: Friday, May 8, 1 p.m.

Where: Online. Register at www.renewsenior.com.

Cost: Free

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to give up on some of life’s simple freedoms, making an experience that caregivers have endured all along a sudden reality for just about everyone.

COVID-19 has sort of leveled the playing field, said Nadine Roberts Cornish, a gerontologist and author. It has given us an opportunity to experience what our lives might be like if we have to take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one.

“It’s important that we understand the role of a caregiver, but also our role in supporting the caregivers in our lives,” she said.

That’s why caregivers and anyone who anticipates caregiving in the future are encouraged to join a special webinar discussion, “The Hidden Crisis Facing Family Caregivers During COVID-19,” hosted by Renew Senior Communities in partnership with The Aspen Times, on Friday, May 8 (see factbox).

The discussion will feature Cornish and will be moderated by Renew CEO Lee Tuchfarber and Amelia Schafer, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado.

An opportunity to have tough conversations

Many caregivers find themselves in the role suddenly, Cornish said — they’re going about their lives and then the phone rings and it changes everything.

“Individuals who have had those conversations in advance understand and know what their loved ones’ wishes are — and they’re better equipped to handle the responsibility of caregiving,” she said.

With the situation we’re all facing due to COVID-19, many people have found themselves thinking about all the things they should have taken care of, Cornish said.

“Let’s come to grips with our mortality and have those difficult conversations and put our affairs in order,” she said. “It makes caregiving so much easier because you don’t have the responsibility of deciding those things for someone.”

Cornish cared for her mother for the last 15 years of her life and was uniquely qualified to navigate the waters thanks to a background in public health. She always knew she’d be her mother’s caregiver someday — they had many conversations about it over the years – but she didn’t know how long it would last or exactly what to expect.

After her mother died, Cornish realized there were so many caregivers out there who needed guidance; she launched The Caregiver’s Guardian to provide caregiving consulting and education about a year later.

The importance of self-care

The work Schafer does at the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado largely focuses on supporting and educating caregivers. There are an estimated 16.3 million Alzheimer’s caregivers in the United States, roughly 5 percent of the population.

“We call them unpaid caregivers, because almost always these are people – family and friends – who are not getting compensated,” Schafer said.

Schafer uses the analogy of the safety briefing on an airplane to describe the importance of self-care for caregivers — the flight attendant tells us to put an oxygen mask on ourselves first before assisting someone else.

“We try not to lecture people to take care of themselves, we just try to make those resources available to them,” Schafer said.

Cornish calls self-care for caregivers “non-negotiable.” She said it’s such a necessity that it’s the foundation for all of her work.

“If you’re claiming to care for someone else and you’re neglecting yourself, then you’re not really taking care of that person,” Cornish said. “You’re under the illusion you’re taking care of somebody.”

Cornish said self-care takes on different meanings for different people. She has one client who gets outside every day to pull weeds in her yard, while another client enjoys sitting by the window undisturbed to enjoy the view.

Whether it’s exercise, reading books, listening to music or something else, “nobody can tell you what your self-care looks like — you get to define it for yourself,” Cornish said.

Impacts of isolation during coronavirus pandemic

Nadine Roberts Cornish, gerontologist and author, is the guest speaker in a May 8 free webinar discussion on “The Hidden Crisis Facing Family Caregivers During COVID-19.”

Because of the danger coronavirus presents to elderly or sick people, Cornish said many of the caregivers she works with have reported feeling extremely isolated since the pandemic began.

Caregivers usually have some support throughout the day during normal times. Maybe their loved one is in an adult day care program, or they get a break from caregiving when they head off to work for the day.

Many of those breaks have stopped during the pandemic. Some caregivers are even avoiding trips to the grocery store out of fear they could bring the virus home and put their loved one at risk.

“There’s a heightened sense of protection and a need to isolate more than everyone else,” Cornish said.

And for those caregivers who don’t live with the loved one they are responsible for, not being able to check in on them at the long-term care facility or senior care housing where they live can be extremely isolating for both caregiver and patient, said Jim Herlihy, senior director of marketing and communications for the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association.

“It can be very disconcerting for the person living with disease — they don’t understand what it all means and wonder if they’ve been abandoned,” he said. “We’ve heard from some caregivers who are saying the disease seems to be advancing (during this period of isolation).”

Focusing on the positive

From structuring your caregiving environment to using technology to connect the person being cared for with other loved ones, it’s possible to find peace and even joy during the caregiving journey.

Schafer said education about the person’s disease or illness is important, as well as connecting with other caregivers who share similar experiences or circumstances.

“There’s power in people not feeling like they’re the only ones going through this,” Schafer said. “It might not change your circumstances, but it helps change your mindset.”

Cornish said there’s joy in the caregiving journey, you just have to know where to look for it.

“Caregiving allows us to stop and shift and really make caring for a loved one a priority,” she said. “I think our ultimate purpose on earth is to care for each other.”

Tips for caregivers separated from loved ones during COVID-19

  • FaceTime (or WhatsApp) calls
  • Reading to them over the phone
  • Doing some breathing exercises with people over the phone
  • Watching a movie together over the phone and talking about it

From outside the loved one’s window:

  • Talking by phone from outside the window
  • Holding up signs
  • Singing and dancing from the window
  • Play games from a window, like cards or charades. (It may sound silly, but we have seen some really cool videos of people doing these things.)

Sending supplies to staff and residents, such as:

  • Favorite snacks
  • Stuffed animals
  • Weighted blankets
  • Heating pads (they even have heated stuffed animals)
  • Aromatherapy supplies including diffusers and essential oils
  • Sending letters or cards
  • Scheduling virtual visits with residents and families via the community computers (usually need to have a staff member available to help residents get connected during scheduled times)

More tips and tools for caregivers can be found at alz.org/help-support/resources/online-tools.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado

Volunteers needed to help domestic, sexual abuse survivors

Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by Response

Response is looking for more local volunteers to be that listener and safety net for those in crisis.
24-hour hotline

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or sexual abuse, Response has a 24-hour crisis helpline in the Roaring Fork Valley offering immediate response for victims any day of the week, any hour of the day.

To access this confidential crisis assistance, call 970-925-SAFE (7233).

The effects of domestic abuse or sexual assault can feel overwhelming for victims, especially when they feel trapped in an unsafe situation.

Response, a nonprofit that helps victims of domestic and sexual abuse in the upper Roaring Fork Valley, provides services that offer safety, comfort and relief for victims who need support.

In 2019, 181 clients  used the services provided by Response, and 250 people called their 24 hour crisis helpline.

Survivors of abuse who come to Response find a non-judgemental listener, referrals to other agencies, court and medical accompaniment and many other types of support. Many of these survivors were in the midst of a life-changing crisis and Response was their first stop on their journey of recovery.

Response is looking for more local volunteers to help those in crisis. An online training for volunteer advocates begins May 11 (see factbox).

Domestic and sexual abuse in the valley

One in three women, and one in four men, in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Those statistics ring true locally, according to Response staff.

“There’s a common misperception that victims fit into some kind of mold,” said Response’s Executive Director Shannon Meyer. “Anyone could be experiencing abuse— your neighbor, colleague, family member — yet you may have no idea.”

Another misperception is that domestic abuse is always physical — it can also be psychological, emotional and financial. Domestic abuse impacts people from every education level, socioeconomic class, race, gender, sexual orientation, single or married.

“Abuse can touch anyone and victims don’t fit into any obvious stereotypes,” she said. “A lot of times, people are surprised by that.”

Rising need for more local volunteers

Response operates a 24/7 crisis help line staffed almost entirely by trained volunteers who work 12-hour on-call shifts on weeknights and weekends. 

There were 250 calls to the helpline in 2019 — however Response has been struggling to get enough volunteers to cover shifts.

“It’s really crucial that we have trained volunteers taking shifts on the crisis line. Volunteers give our full time staff a break and keeps them, our most important resource, from burning out.”

Volunteers must complete a 30-hour training program that teaches volunteers everything they need to know to respond to a victim’s immediate needs when they call in crisis. There is always a backup staff member on-call who can handle more complicated calls should a volunteer need assistance.

“The training provided to become an advocate prepares you to support and empower those in crisis, as well as expands a culture that provides safe harbor to survivors of violence and abuse,” said Greg Shaffran, a proud volunteer for Response since 2014.

Response asks its volunteers to take two on-call shifts per month, so the commitment is relatively minimal. The requirement for the on-call shift is pretty simple: volunteers must remain within cell range during their shifts to ensure they don’t miss a call. This means you might have to skip a backcountry skiing day or even areas of the ski resorts where cell phone coverage is unreliable. “Our volunteer advocates serve a very important role of stabilizing a caller until they can connect with one of our staff advocates during office hours triaging until the callers can connect with our staff advocates,” Meyer said. “Volunteers need to be able to listen, understand the dynamics of what’s happening, tell them what resources are available and help them into a safe position until they can talk to our staff.”

Response needs more volunteers

Are you interested in helping victims of domestic and sexual abuse in our valley? Response needs volunteers to be available ideally for two 12-hour on-call shifts per month. Crisis line calls are routed to volunteers’ cell phones, so all you have to do is remain within cell range during your shifts. A 30-hour training is required and during the current pandemic restrictions, the training will be offered entirely online for the first time. The next training begins May 11. Any interested volunteers should join an informational meeting via Zoom on May 4 at 3:30 p.m.

“I volunteer with Response because I believe in the transformative power of showing up for another person during times of deep sadness, confusion or fear,” said Response volunteer Shannon Birzon. “I feel eternally grateful for those who have done the same for me, and volunteering is a way for me to give back to my community.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, visit www.responsehelps.org/volunteer, call 970-920-5357, or email info@responsehelps.org.

Real estate broker launches “office on the road”

Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by Rimkus Real Estate

Dyna Mei Rimkus is excited to travel the valley, from Aspen to Parachute, to provide convenient service to her real estate clients from her Mercedes Airstream mobile office
Rimkus Real Estate “on the road”

Launching in June, the Rimkus Real Estate mobile office will service clients from Aspen to Parachute. Look for advertisements announcing hours and locations or check Rimkus Real Estate’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RimkusRealEstate, for updates.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck the real estate industry, Dyna Mei Rimkus had already been thinking outside the box about ways to service her wide variety of clients throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

Rimkus, a licensed real estate broker and owner of Rimkus Real Estate, works with English- and Spanish- speaking clients from Aspen to Parachute, spanning all demographics and income levels. She wanted to find a way to conveniently deliver her services to such a large geographic region and that’s when the light bulb went on.

“No one really goes into a real estate office that often,” Rimkus said. “I started looking for other options and found this Mercedes-Benz Airstream touring van and now it’s my mobile office.”

From showings to closings to video conferencing, the 9-passenger van is equipped with a full kitchen and bathroom and can handle just about anything — including social distancing.

“It’s so spacious. I took an elderly friend to Costco recently and she felt safe and comfortable because she was in the back with plenty of space between us,” Rimkus said. “It was a great option for her.”

Serving the community

The mobile Rimkus Real Estate office, officially launching in June, is meant to provide convenience for working families who juggle many responsibilities. Rimkus said she plans to announce the mobile office’s traveling locations and hours each week when she knows where she’ll be parked.

“I think this will be a way to better service clients all over the valley, especially those who work long hours and don’t always have time to go to the actual office,” she said.

Serving the community has always been a priority for Rimkus. Rimkus Real Estate started offering free home buyer seminars in 2019 at local libraries. The goal was to teach community members about the advantages and responsibilities that go along with home ownership, including information about building equity for retirement.

Rimkus Real Estate’s next big decision as it expanded its offerings in the valley was its office location.

“The main goal in determining a new office location was, ‘how can we be most approachable and accessible to anyone thinking about home ownership —and how can we continue to reach out to anyone who might not yet have started thinking about all the benefits of owning versus paying rent or leasing land,” Rimkus wrote in a recent email to clients.

Rimkus will offer coffee and tea, and she’ll be baking her mom’s secret scone recipe to make the experience as welcoming as possible. She hopes the casual environment will encourage people to ask questions and share their real estate needs and wants.

Concierge-style showings

Dyna Mei Rimkus and husband Tobias Rimkus have converted a Mercedes Airstream van into Rimkus Real Estate’s mobile office for showings, closings and more.

In-person real estate showings were on hold until Gov. Jared Polis announced they could resume beginning April 27. Rimkus intends to use her mobile office as a concierge-type shuttle service for clients.

“For my clients in Aspen, I can pick them up from the airport and take them to luxury homes, park outside and make a nice picnic for them,” she said. “The 25-foot Sprinter van is equipped with comfortable seating for up to nine passengers — when we get to the stage of looking at properties with the whole family — and has two wide screen TVs to look at the listing details while driving to the next location, plus a few other conveniences.”

Using the van to help others

During the pandemic, Rimkus is also utilizing the van to support her philanthropic efforts. From driving seniors to pick up groceries to packing the van with bags full of supplies for underserved children, the mobile office sprinter van is helping Rimkus do more for the community.

On April 23, she used the van to deliver 600 bags of items, mostly toys, for underprivileged children from El Jebel to Glenwood Springs. And whenever she learns of someone who needs help shopping, she’s happy to use the van to pick up the items and deliver them.

“With this pandemic, the van has been a great tool for us to be able to help and serve the community however we can,” Rimkus said.