Letters to the Editor: July 24, 2008

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Dear residents and property tax payers of the WRBM,
The project manual for the Rangely recreation center remodel is completed and the job is out for bid. Bids are expected to be turned back in to the general contractor’s office on or before July 24 with construction to begin the week of Aug. 11.
The recreation center will be closed for construction starting Monday, Aug. 4, and the remodel will take approximately one year to complete start to finish. This is both a time of sadness for me because of the length of the remodel and a time of happiness that we will be able to repair and improve this wonderful facility that many have enjoyed and many will enjoy in the future.
The district staff will use the month of August to move our offices to the EEC (Early Education Center) as well as the weight equipment, cardio equipment and game room. This will be our place to recreate and work out until the remodel is complete. We will notify the public as we make progress on the move to the EEC and when we will be open. The district’s phone number will remain the same, as will our address.
As we move forward with the recreation center remodel we will also keep you informed on the progress of the project through the local news media and our Web site www.westernrioblanco.org.
The Elks Park playground is well used and we have had many compliments. However, after the grand opening we discovered that graffiti appeared on one of the signs as well as having some holes put into the rubber surface by what appears to be fireworks. District staff did remove a portion of lilac bushes along Bell Street so the public could have a better view of who is in the park; we did put a chain link fence as a barrier for protection from the road. Could you please help us police this park and playground as we are experiencing some problems of abuse?
Thank you for your understanding and patience in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me at (970) 675-8211.
Timothy J. Webber
Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District
Dear Editor,
After returning from a lengthy camping trip, I was surprised by the controversy stemming from the mural on White Avenue. My three children and I took part in the activities, and all three were more than excited about getting to paint representations of themselves and their friends on the wall. They force me to drive past it as often as possible. They proudly point out their artwork to anyone who will look. Our out-of-town family members, who recently came to visit, have been subjected to lengthy descriptions of which painting is theirs, which kid on the wall is them and how much fun the process was.
I am not certain exactly who it was on the council that decided the wall was an eyesore that could lower property values, but I think our town leaders need to have a frank discussion about priorities. If you are concerned about property values, think about losing several generations of children who decide to move away because they feel no connection to the town. The pride my children felt in taking part in the project certainly increased this taxpayer’s family’s commitment to the town; however, the reaction from the council has soured those feelings.
Thank you Charlie and Maria! It’s a shame that our town leaders don’t appreciate people who allowed dozens of children to share in a project that links them to the town in which they live.
Edie Jansen

Dear Editor,
I would like to thank Charlie Hickman and Maria Stepanyan of Waving Hands Art Club for organizing the redo of the Hospital Hill (White Ave.) wall; the previous wall was chipped and ugly. Charlie and Maria spent countless hours prepping and organizing community members to participate in recreating the wall. The wall was completed by numerous and recurring community members. Every day there were more and more families joining the project. The children of Giant Step walked the numerous blocks to be traced one day and asked when they were to go again. My son, Marshal, was at the project from beginning: priming the wall, sweeping paint chips, tracing and finishing with artistic touches until the very last day. His hours of community service can be counted toward his boy scout badge and his demonstration of art can also be counted toward an art merit badge, which he is striving to accomplish. A community mural allows youth as well as adults to work together and paint a mural in their own neighborhood. It is important that a neighborhood first looks at the resources that exist in their own community such as churches, schools, artists, organized groups and others. A community mural is an artistic and tangible project where everyone in the community has input into not only the subject matter but in the design itself and the actual painting of it. A community mural establishes ownership of the art piece among the neighborhood residents and helps restore community pride and economic development. It also allows neighborhood youth to be seen as assets rather than liabilities.
Rangely people painted by Rangely people are an asset in Rangely. Thanks for providing an opportunity to develop community ownership; it was time and energy well spent.
Kari and Marshal Way