From My Window… Spring getting closer; grads applauded

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
I can see sunshine clearly out my window, and that may be a good thing.
It may actually turn into spring soon, and that will cheer up a lot of folks in Rio Blanco County who are waiting for sunshine and warmer temperatures after a particularly prolonged winter.

Congratulations are in order for the 141 students who were graduated on Saturday from Colorado Northwest Community College with degrees and certificates earned during their years at the school.
For most, it is a two-year journey. Yet, it can take untold years of work for some students who took their classes and earned their degrees online through CNCC.
Many of the students are single parents, and that adds a whole lot of weight to the load they carried.
Many had to carry full-time jobs in pursuit of that piece of paper. Family members and spouses of many students had to pick up the slack at home and sometimes at work in order to support financially and personally the student pursuing that degree or certificate.
Gaining a degree or certificate is a major accomplishment, whether the student decides to pursue a higher degree or goes to work in aviation mechanics or nursing or dental hygiene as soon as they pass their boards.
College is so important in this day and age.
Community colleges similar to CNCC are so involved nationally in preparing students for more education or for going to work having learned a skilled occupation that their value cannot be diminished.
Congratulations to the CNCC Class of 2014 — or any other institute of higher learning.
You worked hard and you earned it, and no one can ever take that away from you.

Congratulations are also in order to the graduates of Meeker and Rangely high schools. Twelve of the best years of your life are now over and it is on to the real world, whether that means continuing your education or going out into the work place.
Rangely has its graduation on May 24 and Meeker sends its graduates out into the real world on May 31.
Making it through those 12 years was likely a mix of wonderful memories and perhaps a few memories that are best forgotten. But you survived and aced an important part of your life, and you are to be congratulated.
For many of these graduates, the real world will come full tilt into their faces.
The best advice I can give is to truly spend some time thinking about the future and what you really want to do the rest of your lives.
That decision you make in the near future will have a profound effect on your life in the future.

The news that an old home in Meeker contained “significantly radioactive” uranium comes as quite a surprise to the folks around here.
Well kudos go out to all who took part in the cleanup — beginning with the Johnson family, which reported the small stockpile of ore all the way up to the Environmental Protection Agency, which disposed of the ore.
The sheriff’s office, the police department and the county did a great job of keeping the problem fairly quiet and Jeremy Simmons of the Rio Blanco County Environmental Services office, which oversaw operations and the cleanup, and to Paul Peronard of the EPA office in Denver, who made certain the cleanup went without problems all the way to the incredible demolition of the home and spotless cleanup at the site.
When he said, “The property is now safe,” he said a lot.
Much work went into the entire project. To clean up four rail cars of debris from outside the home and to fill three more railcars containing the house demonstrates the scope of the project, which was completed without a hitch.
Fine job, all!

It is a bit of a shame that we in Meeker will have to wait until after the Fourth of July to see work begin on the town sidewalk project that will run this year from the east side of Watts Market to Fourth Street on the north side of Market Street, but it is a wise move to wait until after the Fourth to start messing with tourist traffic.
The traffic through Meeker on Highway 13 is quite heavy, not to mention the traffic in town on the Fourth.
Anyone who ever walked from Watts along Market Street for any length of time or any number of times can attest to the fact that it is quite an adventure with holes, drainage ditches, some sidewalks and numerous items to hurdle or walk around, making you walk into the traffic lane.
It may take a few years for the town to finish the entire project, but the appearance and navigation will be greatly improved when it is complete.
Hooray that the project, which actually started in 2008, will begin on the north side of Market Street (Highway 13) soon. But when it is all said and done, this will be an enjoyable jaunt from one end of town to the other, and everyone from local residents and short-term visitors will all be able to appreciate it.

This is just a reminder that Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunting and fishing licenses are on sale now for the 2014-15 seasons at retail outlets, at parks and wildlife offices and online.
Anglers must have a new license each year by April 1, and we are way past that date. It has been reported though that some folks are still using last year’s licenses, confused perhaps by the carry-over into the new year.
I must admit I don’t know of any other state that issues its licenses from other than Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
License buyers between the ages of 18-64 also must buy a $10 Colorado Habitat Stamp. Money collected from stamp purchases is used to preserve and protect wildlife habitat throughout the state.
A resident annual fishing license costs $26. Youngsters 15 and under are not required to purchase an annual license; however, if they plan to fish with a second line, they must buy a second-rod stamp for $5.
Senior annual licenses for those 64 or older cost just $1. A combination fishing-small game license is available for $41. A small-game license costs $21, but only $1.75 for those under 18.
Now is also a good time to buy a Colorado State Parks pass. A pass, good for entry at 42 state parks, is good for a year from the date of purchase. Buy one at a Parks and Wildlife office or online at parksstore.state.co.us.
Anglers should pick up a 2013-14 fishing brochure to check regulations and to see what’s new. You must know the regulations for the waters you are fishing. Brochures are available at license dealers or any parks and wildlife office, and online at case.epaperflip.com/Colorado/fishing/.
Anyone who takes a boat to a lake or reservoir is reminded that Colorado Parks and Wildlife conducts mandatory boat inspections and decontaminations at 27 state parks and 58 other locations around the state.