From My Window: Veterans must be remembered; AT&T tower a mystery

Not enough can be said, though a lot has been said this past year in Rio Blanco County with the dedication of the Rio Blanco County Veterans Memorial.
Those who have served in the military in the United States, whether or not they gave up their lives, have certainly played the major role in ensuring that this country has grown to be 237 years old.
From the war for independence from the British up to the current battles in Afghanistan and Iraq, and with many minor skirmishes around the globe during those 237 years, many men and women have given their hearts, their body parts and often their lives to protect us back home from problems around the world and, at times, domestically, and each of these “involvements” have led to making this nation stronger, safer and more powerful.
Our veterans have served at home and our veterans have served in all nooks, crannies and major battlefields on this planet. Often it was to advance U.S. interests; often it was to protect the people in other nations. Always, it was to make the earth a better place for all.
I am not going to go on and on regarding our veterans, although volumes have been written and more volumes have yet to be written.
Suffice it to say that these United States still make up the strongest nation on this globe and that the people of this nation, those long gone and those to come, are most grateful for the efforts of our veterans.
On Monday, which is Veterans Day, we again thank you, and we salute you!

The view out my window this week is still a little blurry from last week, when Amendment 66 and local Initiative 3A crossed in front of us all.
That picture has been cleared up since Tuesday, which was election day, but I am not sure about the wisdom and preference of mail-in ballots for upcoming elections, and it looks to be the way of the future, at least in Colorado.
It is more convenient. As soon as you get the ballot in the mail, you can fill it out and then send it it back to the county elections office.
Quick work. You are now all done. But did you really read about the issues on the ballots or the candidates who were running for office — for the local school boards in this most recent election.
The issuance of the early ballots make it look like the state is more concerned about increasing the number of ballots returned than it is about letting the most informed voters cast their ballots.
If most people are like me, and I would bet they are, if they get something in the mail that needs to be returned, they give it a quick read, vote on the issue and return to the mail.
Or, they decide they will read about it later and decide then about how to vote. However, the ballot is often lost or forgotten and the vote doesn’t get cast at all.
It seems to me that while turnout is usually quite low, those who vote in person at least give a real darn about the outcome and are probably more educated about an issue than those folks who send their ballots in early.
During an election build-up, usually more facts about a ballot issue surface and that gives us regular voters more time to make an informed decision.
When it comes to races like the school board races in Meeker and Rangely, more time means chances are better that information comes out that really defines who the candidates are and what they stand for.
I feel that way too often — and particularly in small counties like Rio Blanco — a voter knows one or two candidates so their name automatically gets a voter endorsement without having a clue what the candidate wants to accomplish, whether a candidate has realistic ideas or whether their reasons for running for office are honest or carry an agenda.
Personally, I would like to see this country and state go back to voting at the polling booth. At least that way I know that whoever votes in the elections really gives a darn.

For a couple of months now, I have been trying to find out what is going on with the new AT&T phone tower located south and west of Meeker on Joe Conrado’s property across the river toward the golf course.
To make a long story short, no one seems to know, or, if they do, they aren’t talking.
Apparently, Mercury Towers contracted with AT&T to build the tower, which would reportedly allow 4G coverage in the area for its local phone and computer users.
Mercury may have subcontracted with Tower Engineering Professionals to build the towers, which were completed a couple of months ago after a glitch along the way that caused Rio Blanco County to issue a “stop work” order. It seems one of the two structures at the site was completed before it had been inspected.
That “stop work” order was taken care of in less than two weeks and the tower was reportedly ready to go.
Still no AT&T tower in operation although Conrado said another similar tower on his property near Craig is in operation.
Working extensively in the last week to find out what is going on, I found out that Conrado hasn’t been informed of what is going on with the Meeker tower, I have found that Mercury Towers in California will not return phone calls and neither will Nicholas Constantin with Tower Engineering Professionals. Meanwhile, no one seems to know who to call with AT&T to find out from them directly.
Be patient! This has now become a bit of an obsession with me to find out what is going on, and as soon as I know, you will know too.

The election results are not known as I write this column on Tuesday, but I would like to offer congratulations to the winners of the Rangely and Meeker school board elections, which wrapped up on Tuesday.
Here is to also hoping that at least Initiative 3A passed in Meeker and that the school district will be receiving some much-needed funding in the near future.
Hooray for all of you who voted!