Like every young child who grows up in a small town, I couldn’t wait to leave the quiet life behind. The city always seemed like the epitome of excitement and adventure. However, the events of the last few weeks have convinced me that Rangely and Dinosaur really are great places to live! There is a comfort in being someone who people recognize and relate to instead of one in a sea of faces streaming by.
On May 13, 2008, our world was drastically changed.
My niece and nephew, Celena and Micheal Miner, were in a very bad car accident near Ashley Creek in Utah. As the phone calls kept coming in and uncertainty was abounding, the only rational thing in our lives was the knowledge that the whole community was praying for them. You have no idea how much we appreciated that! God has answered so many prayers.
Micheal is doing well and Celena is continuing to recover, so I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone. There will never be enough words to express to you all how much you have touched, helped and lifted us up. Your generosity has been absolutely amazing! To say that this time is overwhelming would be an understatement, but your compassion has made life so much more bearable. The phone calls, cards, flowers, visits and generous donations of money have so greatly lightened our burdens.
The community benefit was absolutely astounding! To see so many people offer their time, services, goods and money for a hurting girl and her family was so very touching. I wish that I could thank each of you personally, but there is just no way. So I will say to you that your compassion has made a lasting impact on our family.
I would like to tell Drs. Deb and Wallace Salter thank for spearheading the event and for taking an active part in Celena’s medical care. Your efforts have reminded me that there are still family doctors in this world who care. Thankfully you have chosen to be family doctors in our community. I also greatly appreciate all the efforts of Peggy Rector and her family who helped make the benefit such a success. I would also like to say thank you to the families of Bob Richardson. The powerchair you gave Celena will be of great assistance to her when she gets to come home to this community that has shown her so much love and kindness! Thank you so very much for all your efforts great and small in our regard. We love you all.
The family of
I would like to respond to the letter to the editor regarding the building of a new education center in Meeker. I am very sad to see it overlooked what I feel is a key belief in Christianity. Yes, as a parent, Christian or not, we have a responsibility to be fully involved in our children’s education regardless of how they are schooled.
I have always felt in my heart though that it is our call as Christians to make it a priority to do all we can to look out for those who cannot do it on their own. Jesus is often called the Good Shepherd and in all his works he showed us how to care for the needs of others. Children cannot make education available on their own and not all parents have the education or resources to home school their children. A good number of parents do not have the finances to send their kids to private or Christian schools. So at this point public education is the only option for most children.
There are many people who have issues with some parts of the public education system. When we have an issue with something we have two options. To establish something better, which would mean making a whole new nationwide school system available to and affordable for all children, or to change the current system. If we have issues with the public schools we need to work to make these changes.
I cannot say if the people of Meeker should build the education center or not as I am a resident in Rangely. That will need to be decided based on taxes, need, etc. To try to say though that God doesn’t want us to truly pray about what is the best thing for all children in the community seems to be missing a major Christian value to me.
I was curious about the construction project at Rio Blanco Hill so I stopped in and had a visit with David Miller, the project engineer, and found out the following. The work consists of stabilizing about 400 feet of the fill at a cost of $2 million. This calculates to be $5,000 per lineal foot. Upon completion the only difference in the road will be a stable fill not requiring patching by CDOT maintenance on a regular basis.
When I first heard of the project, I hoped that a badly needed climbing lane would be included. However, due to the high cost of the solution, no enhancement will result.
The plan is to remove about 13 feet off the top of the fill and replace that portion with the large blocks of styrofoam you see piled at the top of the hill. This will reduce the load on the weak substructure, hopefully stabilizing the pavement. Other possible solutions would be to remove the entire fill and rebuild it from the bottom up, or to move the alignment of the highway to the east and abandon the current road. Removing the fill would create terrible traffic handling problems, but the $2 million would have gone a long way toward total realignment.
This project illustrates how costly maintenance of state highways, county roads and city streets can be. With all the moisture that has been dumped on western Colorado this winter, a safe prediction is that a number of fill failures and landslides will occur in our part of Colorado. All will be extremely expensive to repair.
Luckily, the funds for the project described above came from a special appropriation by the legislature, and did not come from scarce CDOT money. All this points to the dire need for increased highway funding here in Colorado.
Ten Meeker High School students returned last week from 12 days in Costa Rica, where they assisted with research and conservation projects organized by Ecology Project International. The students monitored leatherback turtles, an endangered species, and helped to clean up turtle nesting beaches. They also visited a rainforest reserve, where they planted trees to re-forest a clear-cut. On the last day in country, they rafted on the Pacuare River, one of the world’s premier wild rivers. Throughout the expedition, they learned about marine and tropical ecosystems, immersed themselves in Costa Rican culture, and made new friends. We will publish a full report in these pages — as soon as we can organize all the pictures and notes!
Many thanks to the institutional and individual donors who helped make the trip possible, including the Freeman Fairfield Trust, Williams Production, EPYCS, Cleo Jordan, Bill Jordan, John and Patti Arrington, Ed and Carol Hollowed, Merle and Audrey Dorsett and the many people in Meeker who supported our various fund raisers. And special thanks to the parents, without whose unflagging efforts and confidence none of these expeditions would be possible.
Meeker High School
It is with a big heartfelt thanks we say to the people of Rio Blanco County and especially Rangely how very appreciative we are of your support and caring of our son and brother, Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani.
The Huber and Fellows families