Listen up, Jefferson County

In the Feb. 17 edition of the Canyon Courier, Rhea Slowik cites development projects “that strain our resources or need resources we simply do not have” as candidates for a moratorium, especially where the affected community has spoken against the development. Ms. Slowik describes Full Send Bike Ranch (FSBR) and its opponents exactly.

– Less than 2500 signers of recent petitions—likely not from the Conifer Area—support FSBR; between 3000 and 5000 residents oppose the development.

– FSBR will draw more water in a day than all surrounding households combined, and potentially pollute the ground and surface waters along Shadow Mountain Drive.

– FSBR will place unrecompensed strain on Elk Creek Fire Protection District:

– Bringing 4,000 or more ignition sources to the Conifer Area each week

– Increasing wildfire risk during construction (excavation with heavy equipment, temporary, above ground power transmission, welding and cutting)

– Overloading or cutting off one of only two evacuation routes for 300 to 800 residents, some of whom have lived in the area 30-40 years

– Burdening EMS response from among its 2 to 4 injuries each day, possibly denying Area residents of life-saving services.

Ms. Slowik goes on to state that residents usually know whereof they speak. FSBR clearly brings no benefit to the Conifer Area (its benefit to schools will amount to 0.04% of the state education budget) and there are no tax benefits that can compensate for the loss of even a single life.

G. Scott O’Connell, Conifer

Why do we care about the Coroner’s Office?

Until we happened to meet Dr. Annette Cannon, our Jefferson County coroner, we had no idea just how fortunate we are to have her and the rest of her rock-star team serving our community. Dr. Cannon and her staff are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, and their office is the one of the busiest Coroner’s Offices in Colorado. 

Since taking office in 2018, she has managed a full-time staff of 20 (consisting of a chief deputy, 10 full time deputy investigators, two admin coordinators, two forensic autopsy techs, two contracted board certified forensic pathologists and a few temporary positions), who together have implemented a multitude of new policies, procedures, training programs and certifications to strengthen the professionalism, compassion and efficiency of the work they do for us.

Before COVID, the Coroner’s Office dealt with 4598 cases a year. In the last 2 years they have dealt with 5638 +, an increase of over 22%, all with the same number of 20 dedicated people, and a budget cut by almost $100,000 since 2020.

While the majority of the increase was due to COVID and population increase of over 10,000 people, there also have been increases in fatal traffic accidents, mass shootings, wildfire-related deaths, opioid overdoses and suicides. These unseen heroes have dealt with all of this, providing compassion and empathy to families and friends in need in our community, at great sacrifice for themselves, and their own families and friends.

If you see Dr. Cannon or any one of her staff members, be sure to thank them for doing this important, public-service work.  We are so lucky to have them all in JeffCo!

Brian and Diane Conaway, Indian Hills