Letters to the Editor: February 7, 2008

Dear Editor,
I would like to clear up some misconceptions that folks around Meeker have about the Friends of the Flattops Historic and Scenic Byway. The committee is comprised of representatives from the towns of Meeker and Yampa, the Chamber of Commerce, Rio Blanco County, the Forest Service of Blanco and Routt districts and the Routt County Commissioners. The committee is funded by a grant from the State Scenic Byway Committee and our goals are strictly to gather information on how to best portray/market the scenic byway in order to provide the best quality experience for visitors and locals alike. We want to gather information on who uses the byway and the best way to attract the right type of visitor. While at the same time helping educate the communities of Yampa and Meeker on developing knowledge and commercial business related to the byway. In no way should the committee be perceived as any kind of governing body or lobbying group trying to ensure that nothing ever changes along the byway. We realize private individuals are going to make financial decisions that affect the byway. And also the Forest Service is going to have to do various interdiction and regular trees maintenance. Keeping in mind that the Flattops Scenic Byway is one of the few true “working byways” in the country. Our goal is to ensure that these persons try to have the good of the byway and the local economy in mind. An example of this is the development of an RV park right at the entrance to the byway approximately ½ mile from Highway 13. The scenic byway committee is actually all in favor of this endeavor. It has the potential to bring something that is well needed in our community. A clean and attractive RV park will certainly provide great opportunities for campers and tourists to stay near a town and not have to try to “dry camp” in the forest, as well as job opportunities for area residents. This will draw more tourists to the area, and should also increase local revenues in restaurants, groceries, camping goods and of course the sales tax base. The committee’s concern is that the RV park not become a trailer park. There are plenty of trailer parking spaces available for oil/gas workers and others on a long term basis in or near Meeker. Certainly there will be a need for a few long term spaces in the RV park. However, we feel that if the number of long term spaces is not limited, this will detract from the purpose of the park, ultimately resulting in an unattractive trailer park. Something that will go a long way to ensuring the RV park success is the installation of the planned landscaping, trees, and shrubs that will prevent byway travelers from staring straight into the trailer sites as they drive RBC Rd. 8.
The committee would like to thank the county planners and the county commissioners on their due diligence in ensuring that a quality project be approved for construction. The RV park will be a great asset to the area, and we wish Kim and Keith Rule the best of luck in their newest endeavor.
The county commissioners will be hearing what will probably be the last presentations on the Wilderness Rendevouz RV Park Monday, Feb. 11 before their final decision is presented to the public. If you would like to see how the process takes place, or have input for the board of county commissioners, you should show up. They have told me that they would rather meet in front of a full room over an empty one. The notice as to time and place is in this edition.
Over the next couple of years the citizens of Meeker, Yampa and the White River Valley are going to see teams of researchers and analysts conducting surveys and asking questions of local business owners. Your assistance with this will be much appreciated. We will be meeting approximately quarterly and the meeting times and locations will be published in the Herald Times. If you would like to participate or just see what we do please plan to attend.
On behalf of the friends of the Flattops Historic and Scenic Byway Committee,
Bernie Gantt
Meeker, Colo.

Dear Editor,
We are up to our ears in snow here in Rangely but the weather certainly hasn’t cooled or dampened the spirit of neighborliness in this community.
The nearly five feet of snowfall since the end of November, coupled with many, many cold days and nights, has gotten a bit wearisome. However, our lives, and those of many others, have been blessed with acts of kindness from a number of individuals. Specifically, in our case, Jeff Rector and son Brian plowed after the first big snow and helped out additional times; Matt Scoggins and Josh Allred have each cleared our driveway a couple of times.
We know that many others have done similar service in the community, and perhaps to us as well, but we wish to publicly express our thanks and deep appreciation to these fine neighbors. These four demonstrate to all that Rangely truly is “A Great Place to Live!”
Bill and Martha Mitchem
Rangely, Colo.

Dear Editor,
The Winter Games are coming once again to the recreation district. How do I know this? Because I was informed that the room I wanted to rent that weekend would not be available due to the Winter Games. Funny, when I checked the dates in the book at the front desk, that weekend happened to be open. My curiosity got the best of me, so I asked if the whole recreation center would be closed as well. After being transferred a couple of times, I was informed that the recreation center would be available on Saturday morning but closed the rest of the day due to a “special event.” Don’t get me wrong, I think the Winter Games are a great idea. They are becoming a tradition around here. I have even participated in them past. My problem comes from closing the recreation center to citizens who have either paid a fee, or are willing to pay a fee to use the facility, so a “free event” can take place. I support the recreation district; I pay fees for various activities. I don’t think it is too much to expect that they be open to people who pay to use the facilities and that a “free event” could go on at the same time. Maybe I am asking too much? The question becomes how many more times can we expect the recreation center to be closed for “special events,” because “hours are subject to change.”
I noticed the Herald Times poll (on its Web site) is asking about how you will utilize the new Meeker Recreation Center. I guess that depends on what day it is, and what other events might be planned for that day.
Mike Flannery
Meeker, Colo.

Dear Editor,
Tax season is upon us and there’s a convenient way to pay your taxes and contribute to charity at the same time. It’s easy and you will remain anonymous, so you won’t have to worry about your favorite charities calling you asking for another donation. Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, Easter Seals of Colorado, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Colorado Chapter and Special Olympics Colorado are asking you to make a donation to our funds when filling out your 2007 Colorado State Income Tax Form.
Our four organizations represent Colorado’s disabled population. Did you know that one in five individuals will have a permanent or long lasting disability over the course of their lifetime? Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, Colorado Easter Seals, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Colorado Chapter, and Special Olympics Colorado offer programs, services and research for nearly 700,000 Coloradans and their loved ones. For the individuals and families we serve, as well as for the communities in which they live, we provide knowledge, support, hope and inspiration. We are able to offer these services because of the generosity of individuals like you throughout the state.
Please consider the important difference you can make for people with disabilities by making a donation to our funds. In 2006, the average donation was $10. The impact of these contributions is considerable. During last year’s tax season, Coloradans contributed a combined total of nearly $500,000 to our organizations. Think about how this number could soar if every individual across the state would donate just $10. Over the next few months when you are filing your taxes, please remember those with disabilities and participate in Checkoff Colorado. If you prepare your own taxes, the Checkoff funds can be found on Lines 33 – 46. The corresponding line for each disability fund is: Special Olympics Colorado Fund (No. 36), Alzheimer’s Association Fund (No. 41), Colorado Easter Seals Fund (No. 44) and Multiple Sclerosis Fund (No. 45). If you have a tax preparer, please let him or her know your wishes for donating on your tax return.
On behalf of the 700,000 people in Colorado with disabilities as well as all of their loved ones, we thank you for your continued support and dedication to our organizations.
Thank you,
Linda Mitchell,
Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado
Lynn Robinson,
Colorado Easter Seals
Carrie Nolan,
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Colorado chapter
Mindy Watrous,
Special Olympics Colorado