I would like to start off by saying thank you to the Rangely community and surrounding areas for all of their support. As many of you may know already my son Jamie Brasfield was diagnosed with melanoma cancer on Feb. 21. When he was diagnosed he had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball in his head and in his chest was one twice that size. Jamie had brain surgery Feb. 27, and has recovered from that with flying colors. By the grace of our dear Lord they have come out with a pill that has a 50/50 chance of attacking and reducing the size of the cancer in his chest which he will have to take the rest of his life.
On April 1, we held a benefit auction with fund raising events like a bake sale ($357), horseshoe tournament ($250), 50/50 ticket sale ($272 ea.), barbecue ($715) with the total amount raised that weekend $10,224. To our amazement the Rangely community sure showed a lot of support through donations to the auction, money for prizes and food items, man-hours on setting up the event from people and businesses to make this a successful fundraiser. It brings tears to our eyes to see the amount of time and effort the people spent on this event to make it very successful. Therefore we are thanking everyone by this letter. There are too many names to mention and support to mention. Just know that you are all special in our hearts and payers. On another note this benefit was so successful and we are not the only family in need. There will be more in the future.
We would like to name a benefit foundation after Jamie Brasfield that continues on every year with proceeds going to other families who may have a tragedy in their life. In order to do this we need to set up a committee that will help fundraise the money as well as designate where is allocated. Contact Joe Brasfield at 970-620-2047 if you would like to participate in this event. Once again, Rangely community, thank you for making this such a successful event. Words can’t thank you enough.
The Obama administration is being blamed for high gas prices. In the short term that’s nonsense. New sources of energy can’t be found, transported and refined overnight. However, if the President had supported instead of opposed the locating of resources by drilling, transporting by pipelines and refining when he first became president, the future for energy supply would be greatly enhanced.
Three culprits can be blamed for the current high cost of fuel. The first is the “green machine,” the extremist environmental movement that wants to shut down our most abundant resource, coal, and has done everything it can to complicate and restrict the development of all other carbon-based energy resources.
Lawyers are collectively the second culprit. Legal procedures can stall the development of energy resources almost indefinitely.
The third culprit is, of course, Congress, which if manned by persons with strong intestinal fortitude, could correct many of the economic problems suffered by our country due to the lack of cheap energy.
Bringing in a new administration after the 2012 election offers some hope.
Vote “yes” for kids
I wanted to impress upon the public the importance of voting “yes” in the upcoming Western Rio Blanco Rec District mill levy that will benefit the Rangely School District. Over the last several years the state has continuously cut funding to our schools and is no longer even meeting its own commitments for funding. During this time the school district has been forced to cut the budget to keep up with the diminishing funds from the state. Unfortunately, we are at a point where we can no longer cut the budget without impacting students. Because of this the Rangely School Board is seeking funding in partnership with the recreation district through a mill levy. The funds generated in the mill levy will go to directly fund both athletics and activities (i.e. math club, FBLA, FFA). By funding these programs through the mill levy the district will be able to open up money in the district budget to be spent on maintaining and improving academic programs. I know that times are hard all around and it can be difficult to support a tax increase, however I believe that if we, as a community, value the education of our children we must support the mill levy in order to ensure that our kids are not impacted by the state’s fiscal problems. Voting “yes” on the mill levy will send the message to our children that we not only care about their education and futures, but that we are willing to truly invest in it.
Capitol Christmas Tree
Something exciting is happening in Rio Blanco County! This year the Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest. Colorado’s wonderful “gift to the nation” will come from our backyard, and we want to provide a celebration to our community.
The theme for the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree project is “celebrating our great outdoors” and that is what the Meeker Chamber of Commerce has set out to do. The Meeker Chamber of Commerce is working in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, the town of Meeker, Rio Blanco County, ERBM Recreation and Park District, and many other local organizations, and we are forming a committee to help organize this event in November and provide a great community celebration!
We are looking for ideas to make this event a success. Some ideas already presented include a parade down Main Street led by the VFW color guard, live music, fun activities downtown, decorating our streets and business district, and a “winter festival” to get our community involved. If you have any other great ideas, or would like to help with this endeavor, contact the Meeker Chamber of Commerce at 970-878-5510. We encourage community support and want to make this event terrific! Our next planning meeting will be April 19 at 9 a.m. at the U.S. Forest Service board room.
Katelin Cook, Executive Director, Meeker Chamber of Commerce
Mandi Etheridge, Mayor, Town of Meeker
Ken Coffin, U.S. Forest Service District Ranger
The Meeker Preschool would like to say thank you to Stacey Huddelson for joining our class.
Know the needs
For the last 3 years there has been much controversial discussion over the tax money collected by the special districts in our community. Because of the mill levy rate of these districts, many of these districts have amassed very large sums of money. A few of these districts are planning on building new facilities or constructing extensive add-ons. There are many people within our community against the building of new facilities, especially in the current economic climate, and have stated they will not vote for a new facility; be it a justice center, hospital, firehouse, recreation center addition etc. However, because these special districts have continued to collect taxes based on these mill levies, they will most likely be able to do these large scale projects without a vote from the taxpayer.
Many people will say, and have said, we do not need a new hospital and we do not need to add on to the courthouse or have a justice center. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. If you take the time to speak with those in a position to know, there are serious deficiencies in both facilities that could potentially cause a future shut down of those existing facilities.
As a taxpayer I would like to participate in the solution, instead of folding my arms, digging in my heels and saying we don’t need this. Citizens would like to hear the discussions and have a say in how or where these projects are done, instead of watching these things happen without any community input.
I would like to see our different entities work together for the common good of our community. I think it would be a good idea for the town of Meeker to sell the old elementary school property to Pioneers Medical Center so they can build the new hospital there. I would then like to see Pioneers Medical Center and Rio Blanco County begin a dialogue to see where they could partner and/or cost share their construction projects. For example, if Fifth Street were closed the county and the hospital could build a combined parking facility. Perhaps they could also share in other infrastructure projects such as utilities, technology, data storage. These are just a few ideas. Maybe the existing hospital could continue to house the Walbridge Wing and be remodeled to provide some assisted living units. The need for assisted living units has been discussed for years, but has never really penciled out to be cost effective; perhaps pairing it with the Walbridge Wing could make it a viable option.
Bringing the hospital downtown and the scheduled addition to the courthouse will help bring vitality back to our downtown and the businesses that reside there. Vitality we lost when the elementary school relocated. Successful communities have vibrant, busy cores. In Meeker we have a great, easily accessible, centrally located downtown. The convenience of being able to go downtown to one area and accomplish much of what you need or want to do cannot be over-emphasized. This is something that makes us very attractive to the visitors stopping in our community and to those of us who live here.
While not everyone will agree on any one option, it is time to start talking to our administrators, commissioners, and board members. We need to educate ourselves and challenge our local leaders to work together to come up with unique solutions to current and future issues.