Letters to the Editor: July 19, 2012

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Thank you for school supply support
Dear Editor:
Dave and Enid Steffen (The Bakery and The Thrift and Gift Shop) would like to thank everyone for all the help with the school supplies over the years. The Methodist Church in Meeker is taking it over and we would like to think they will get the same help as you have given us over the years. They will have a drop off at the church in Richards Hall. There will be signs and it is always open. You can also drop off “Labels for Education” from soup cans and “Box Tops for Education” from other products there.
Thank you again for all your support.
Dave and Enid Steffen
Consider the positive
Dear Editor:
After reading Mr. Ridgeway’s editorial this week, I found a copy of the article which was published in the New York Times in June. I had heard the reporter made a personal visit to Meeker to obtain facts for the article entitled “Western Colorado Struggles as Energy Jobs Fade.”
To many, the article is spot-on concerning the energy slump. My disappointment is that it paints a picture of a desolate, drab, unhappy dust town. This perspective was published in a newspaper with huge circulation. The article’s quoted phrase of “we’re sitting here dead” would be far from the ideals of our local tourism boards — who would want to visit or move to Meeker/Rio Blanco County, a place “where rusting tanks line the highways?”
Coal extraction is still a major contributing energy factor in both Meeker and Rangely. Oil and gas companies still have long-term employees here and the oil and gas is flowing from infrastructure put in place at the peak of our recent boom. Agriculture is still a valuable gem for the county and our recreation opportunities are coming on strong again.
Five years ago, energy companies told us they would be here, and then gone. Apparently supporting contractors and businesses did not buy in to the five-year plan.
The article states that “home foreclosures, while falling across Colorado, are rising here.” This is not factual. No one from the New York Times visited the office of Public Trustee to obtain these figures and chart the trend.
In 2009, Rio Blanco opened 51 foreclosure files. In 2010, 41 were opened. And last year, we opened 40 files. The numbers are falling. Comparing June 30 in these three years plus 2012, we are even in three of the four years at 21 files started at mid-year. It took the county five years to recover to “normal” foreclosure levels after the peak of last boom and bust cycle. No guarantees, but it appears we may be in a modest recovery cycle for foreclosure filings.
The spike in the 2009 foreclosures were “here and gone” status. Properties owned by developers who were speculating with home building, or energy personnel, making few or no payments, then walking away from their house in Meeker only to go to the next “hot spot” were a large percentage of the 51 files.
I’m not sure how this article developed. Maybe the author used pick-and-choose on comments that appeared, leaving out all the positive comments he may have heard. I surely hope this was the case. You can’t paint such a dismal picture for a national publication, then expect citizens and businesses from near and far, to beat a path to your door.
Karen Arnold
Rio Blanco County Public Trustee

Rangely recycles
Dear Editor:
We haven’t paid much attention to the discussion of a recycling program for Rangely. We’ve always recycled our newspapers by taking them to the bins near K-Mart in Junction, and we don’t use bottled water. (We think Rangely water tastes just fine.) But recently we’ve needed a good deal of distilled water for medical equipment, and with the gallon milk jugs, it was getting to be a lot, so we checked out Curbside Recycling in Grand Junction. It was a little tricky to find, but once we found it, we think it’s great. They take newspaper and all kinds of cardboard and plastic jugs and bottles, and phone books and magazines and egg cartons and more, and there usually is a very nice person there to help you get things in the right place. We just save it up and take a friend’s collection as well. We all go to Junction and we all could do that.
We heard that the folks at White River Village had been saving up their water bottles for recycling, and then found the plans had fallen through, so we took their bottles down. We’ll take as much as the car can hold, and I hope others will do the same. Maybe someday the town government will decide to be a little kinder to our landfill and the only planet we’ve got, but this works for now.
John and Mickey Allen

Dear Editor:
Thank you for publishing my “Letter to the Editor” last week. Unfortunately, the letter printed was not precisely the one I sent. In the second paragraph I wrote “I am thinking now of Roe v. Wade, a decision that has led to the slaughter of 55,000,000 Americans and brought shame upon our country.” The Herald Times published this as “I am thinking now of Roe v. Wade, a decision that has led to the slaughter of 5.5 million Americans and brought shame upon our country.” There have not been a total 5.5 million people killed by abortion, since Roe v Wade but 55 million, a considerable difference!
Rogers Huck Meredith

Thank you 4-H, dog pound supporters
Dear Editor:
A big thank you to Dr. Stacy Hudleson and Laurel Haney for their efforts at the “Give a Dog a Shot” day on Saturday. Many dogs received vaccinations at a reduced cost and the 4-H dog club was able to donate $35 to the Meeker Dog Pound. Thank you to Bobby Gutierrez, Tai Mataia, Becky Ridings, Kaitlyn Cook, Laurel Haney and Briana Williams for purchasing dog treats and/or biodegradable dog waste bags from the Marvelous Mutts 4-H Club. Also, I would like to recognize Sena Zellers, Matilda Brown, Addie Joy, Rainier Foreback and Sydney Cochran for their efforts to help the pound dogs find new homes. Appreciation also goes to Joy Surveying for donating the flyers and signs to advertise the event. We hope to make this an even bigger success next year!
Ann Franklin