From My Window: Congrats MHS seniors: Your biggest challenges still lie ahead

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
A baby is born. The infant can do no wrong—even if it does No. 2 and it blows out the side of the diaper.

1 year old: The child is now learning to walk. Isn’t that cute. Everything has been baby proofed, so child can still do no wrong.
2 years old: Child has now learned to say “no!” and is getting more and more fussy. That is expected. They’ll grow out of those “terrible twos,” so child can do almost no wrong.
5 years old: Child is now going to kindergarten and is now teacher’s problem at least half the day. Child is starting to act a bit like a human, so most is OK—except for those times when you want to strangle the child.
10 years old: Child has finally developed a brain. That’s great except for every five seconds when the child is asking you another question. It shows the child is inquisitive and learning—but you know you’re going to go nuts!
13 years old (better known as “Oh My God I”): The child is now a teenager. Nothing can prepare you for this stage except that you have been warned. Hopefully, you have been a strong educator and disciplinarian up until now—and that still isn’t a failsafe.
16 years old (better known as “Oh My God II”): The child is old enough to drive. Gone are the early weekend nights in bed; gone are those couple hundred dollars a month you now have to shell out for auto insurance. And, if your teen is a girl, here comes dad, who must meet each and every male who wants to go out with “his” daughter, only to find out that the date is nothing even close to what dad wanted to see dating his daughter.
18 years old: There is no hope now. You just have to pray, mom and dad, that you have done what you needed to do by now. And hey, you, Meeker High School graduates—boys and girls—you either are or will be 18 within a year. You are now accountable for your actions, your crimes, your debts and your bills.
19 years old: It doesn’t matter. After you turned 18, it doesn’t get any better. You are still accountable for your actions, your crimes, your debts and your bills.
Congratulations to all of the 37 graduates at Meeker High School this year and best of luck on realizing that you are now the masters of your own destinies.
Whether you go to work, go into the military, take a year off, go to college, etc., do your best to do what is best for you. Find out what it is you enjoy doing, and think a little bit outside the box and examine all the ways there are to get to where you want to be.
I didn’t say choose the easiest or the fastest way, but find the best way for you to get where you desire to be. Ask those who are doing what you want to do how they did it and how they think you should do it, then set off to do the best darned job you can.
After high school the number of options is endless. Best of luck with your decisions as your future is now beginning. Strive to excel at what it is you want to do and do it well. If you can accomplish your dreams, happiness and satisfaction will follow, and no one can ask for more.

Election time is nearing, and it appears the Republicans are shaping what will happen for the next few to several years.
Ballots are being mailed out, and they have to be returned to the Rio Blanco Clerk and Recorder’s Office by June 28.
There are Republican primaries for state and U.S. House seats and a couple of others, but the big race here is for county commissioner. Incumbent Jeff Eskelson is opposed by former Sheriff Si Woodruff for the western district of the county and incumbent Jon Hill is opposed by Rangely businessman Jeff Rector for the commissioner’s seat in the western part of the county.
To sum up that race, if you like what the current commissioners are doing, then you should vote for the incumbents, Eskelson and Hill. If you don’t approve of what the current commissioners are doing or how they are doing it, vote for Woodruff and Rector.
This is a very important election and is likely to have resounding effects for a number of years down the road.
But the most important thing to do is to cast your vote. Remember, you ballot must be in the Rio Blanco County Clerk and Recorder’s hands—not in the mail—by the close of business on June 28.
Best of luck to the candidates and, in this case, may the truly best men triumph.

If anyone truly believes there is nothing to do in Rio Blanco County during the summer, you better tell them to stay away from Meeker on Saturday, when there are six different events on slate, starting early with a 10-kilometer run.
Besides the usual hiking, fishing, picnicking, camping and other outdoor activities available each weekend, Meeker will have its annual Meekerpalooza Arts and Music Festival, featuring a variety of food booths and arts-related events for adults and kids, there will be farmers markets, a metal art competition and, if you are up for a 25-minute drive, dinner to be had at the annual Buford School annual whitefish fundraising dinner.

Some interesting facts about Rio Blanco, Moffat and Rout counties, according to the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments(NWCCOG):
Employment: Year-over-year April employment in Moffat is steady. Rio Blanco employment is down 54 employed workers (-2.0 percent), and Routt is up 130 employed workers (up 1 percent). At 6.2 percent, Rio Blanco has the second highest April unemployment rate in Colorado.
Retail Sales: Spending in Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt declined between October and November 2015. Year-to-date totals are 5.7 percent below November 2014 totals for Routt, with Rio Blanco’s spending down 34.6 percent from the previous year. Moffat saw a 13.2 percent decrease in sales when compared to the previous year.
Real Estate: Moffat and Routt median monthly rents are at their highest in the last five years. Moffat’s April foreclosures are at their highest rate for 2016. Routt and Rio Blanco have fewer foreclosures than April 2015. All three counties have seen an increase in houses for sale.
Precipitation: Yamcolo and Stagecoach reservoirs were above 100 percent of their capacity in April. Rabbit Ears, Buffalo Pass and Ripple Creek all still contain greater than 219 percent of their average snow-water equivalency. However, Burro Mountain is only at 10.8 percent of its average amount of snow-water. Both the Yampa and White rivers experienced their second peak of the season on May 22.
Coal: Coal in Routt saw a jump in its monthly and yearly production levels. Despite Moffat and Rio Blanco experiencing continued gradual monthly decreases in production, all three counties produced 79 percent of the state’s coal in March.
Oil and Gas: Routt’s oil and gas productions continue to decrease, with Moffat and Rio Blanco seeing increases in both sets of production levels.