From My Window… Be aware of school children; more fun coming

Sean McMahon ~ Editor
Sean McMahon ~ Editor
Rangely schools are open and Meeker schools will have their first day in class on Sept. 3, so it is certainly time to put out the words of caution that parents love and children hate — “Watch out for children walking and biking on the sidewalks and streets because school is back in session.”
Too many times a child steps out in front of a moving vehicle and the driver doesn’t spot the child in time. Or there are the times when a young bike rider shoots in front of cars while turning left from far on the right side of the lane. The results can be tragic. And many times, the driver did nothing wrong!
That is why the warning is necessary. It is there to urge adult drivers to be extra careful when they see a young rider or a young pedestrian. We know the kids shouldn’t be doing something stupid, but that doesn’t mean they know it at any given time.
And the adult driver may not be 1 percent guilty, but that doesn’t take away the feeling of guilt from a driver who runs over and severely injures a child pedestrian or a young bike rider.
Just sayin’ … that extra bit of caution can save a whole lot of grief and maybe even a life.

We are now two-thirds of the way through summer, and a busy summer it has been.
But it isn’t over yet.
This weekend, we have the Meekerpalooza Arts and Crafts Festival and the Plein Air Meeker 2013 Art Competition and Exhibit in Meeker; Septemberfest runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 in Rangely, and Sept. 4-8 are the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials in Meeker.
It was great to see roughly 100 OHV riders in Meeker last weekend, particularly knowing that more than 90 percent of the participants were from outside of Meeker. The off-highway vehicles were to be seen everywhere — from hotels to restaurants and on a lot of main and side roads during the group’s stay.
One would have to search high and wide to find a small county similar in size to Rio Blanco County were so many diverse activities are presented each summer as there are here.
After the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials comes hunting season, and droves of hunters will be adding to the local economy within Rio Blanco County by their way of buying food, ammunition, filling motels, local shopping, buying gasoline, dining at area restaurants, etc.
So, yes, summer is winding down, but the activities keep rolling in. It looks like another good fall in Rio Blanco County, and if the hunting is as good as the five area game managers in the five regions of Northwest Colorado say it is, it ought to run pretty well until nearly the end of the year.

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It is a good thing to see the Rio Blanco County Board of Commissioners agree to indefinitely table the decision regarding the new county administrator.
With what is apparently a gold strike with the hiring of new County Project Coordinator Eric Jacquez, the commissioners now say they need to see where Eric fits in, what he can do and how much pressure he will take off the county administrator.
All three commissioners — Shawn Bolton, Jeff Eskelson and Jon Hill — say they need to take another look at what is required of the county administrator, and there is no better time than now to see that there is a fit and that the job description is what is needed.
Nothing could be worse than to hire a new county administrator and then find out that the job description and the new hire don’t mesh. It would be embarrassing to all concerned.
Good decision, gentlemen. It is best to take the time needed to make certain you hire the best person for the job.

‘Home Of…’ in need of public feedback
I am requesting more public input from folks in Meeker and Rangely regarding the “Home of” feature that has been running in the Herald Times for roughly seven years.
The desire to change the format came about because the list we had to call residents from was fairly old, and the idea was to call those persons in the county who had lived here in Rio Blanco County for at least 13 years — often much longer. It was also taking hours some weeks to find a family that wanted to do the feature.
It is important to know if is was a popular column and how you readers felt about continuing it, and to see what direction, if any, we should it.
There have been several suggestions, ranging from “Drop it, I never read it,” to those who have said, “It is the first thing I read every week.”
If you are not interested in seeing the column continue, let me know via email at sean@theheraldtimes.com. If you do want to see it continue, you still have to let me know.
How might we change it?
For certain, we will include in the feature some families that have been here less than 13 years. We want to continue including the area pioneers, but we also want to include those who have decided to make Rio Blanco County their homes but who have lived here at least three or four years.
Most of the information regarding the pioneer families is well known – certainly by the other pioneer families. But we want to include some of the newer folks and introduce them to the residents of the county they have chosen to call home.
My present idea — certainly subject to change — is to put out a call for folks who have lived in the county at least three years to submit their names, indicating they are OK with having the feature done on them, and to include the adult name or names, the phone number where they can be reached and the best time to call.
I will ask the questions, and there are about eight to 10 of those and the entire phone call should take no more than 10 minutes.
I would like to know how you feel about that process, but I am also gladly listening if there are suggestions out there on better ways to proceed.
It doesn’t take long to send me an email at sean@theheraldtimes.com or you can call 970-878-4017. We are trying to change the paper in ways you readers want, and this is one of the first steps. Don’t regret not having your say!

This is just a quick reminder to members of the Meeker Chamber of Commerce regarding the 2013 Board of Directors Election Ballot.
Members were sent the official ballots for the board election several weeks ago, but the deadline to submit the ballots for the three vacancies on the chamber board is 5 p.m. on Sunday. The ballots must be in the chamber’s possession by 5 p.m. for your vote to count.
According to Katelin Cook, the executive director of the Meeker chamber, the election outcome will be announced and the elected board members will be seated at the regular chamber board meeting in September.