I’m feeling especially mortal this month. Some of it is commuting over Vail pass and across the region through a huge snow season. Then “there are only two un-fixables in life—aging and dying,” says Dr. Atul Gawande in the special “Being Mortal” which we are showing across the region. After attending two “Being Mortal” events hosted by Amanda Rens-Moon of our Alpine Area Agency on Aging in Summit and in Grand Counties, I’ve had much drive time to reflect upon what our local panelists—Doctors, chaplains and hospice workers—those frequently bedside with our community members in their final days—have shared while leading discussions about end of life planning. “To rage against the dying of the light” through exhausting “treatment,” leveraging shards of hope for a fix, or completing their journey in a more deliberate way. Having options requires crucial conversations with caregivers and loved ones, and planning ahead—for more resources go to www.alpineaaa.org. Or if you get a chance to attend an upcoming Being Mortal event in Eagle, Garfield or Pitkin county—do it! Our NWCCOG programs are so diverse, I am still learning all we do (even as I speak on TV 18 in Winter Park and elsewhere about our programs). This past week I attended the Northwest All-Hazards Emergency Management Region committee meeting in Glenwood Springs with Kim Cancelosi, our regional coordinator for the grant which comes through the state from Homeland Security. The group is Emergency Managers from a region larger than just NWCCOG’s which annually disperses grant dollars for equipment, training– and badges, lots of scannable badges– for disaster preparedness. This past year NWCCOG has bought portable light trailers and corrals, among other items through the grant. I learned how even in hazard preparedness, vigilance is required to protect our portion of funding from being reallocated to Front Range needs. Thanks to Joel Cochran for serving as our Chair—he is moving up in the ranks at Summit County as Undersheriff, and congrats to Andy Martsolf, Mesa County, the NWAHEMR incoming chair. January started at NWCCOG by participating in a celebration in Rio Blanco County for the rollout of their broadband initiative which is making reality of the lofty goal to provide 1 gigabyte of fiber to each home or business in Meeker and Rangely and wireless internet across the entire county! Years in the making, the project also improves cell service and EMS connectivity across the remote region. Nate Walowetz’s was thanked at the event for his part in their journey as NWCCOG Regional Broadband Coordinator. I was proud to attend, take notes and write a press release to help share their success. For more information on this see NWCCOG in the news on our website. E-mail or call me and tell what NWCCOG should be sharing about you.