Letters to the Editor: June 14, 2012

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Thank you
Dear Editor:
We would like to thank all our family and friends for making our golden wedding anniversary a special memory that will last forever.
A special thanks to Mike, Lisa, Zina, Hannah and Dennis, Kristen and Johnny for putting it together and the Webbers for the great meat, and all the family and friends that made it complete.
Dave and Enid Steffen

Cemetery care
Dear Editor:
My sister Paula and I wanted to take a moment to commend Arthur and Lila Cox and the Meeker Cemetery Board for their help regarding the recent installation of the Spurlock headstone. The cemetery at Meeker is by far one of the most cared for cemeteries that we have visited and is a direct representation of their beliefs regarding the care of those who have come before.
Kathy Cleveringa
and Paula Maness

Wounded warriors
Dear Editor:
I am writing to you regarding our ongoing Sea to Shining Sea cross-country bicycle ride with wounded warriors from our nation’s military. The ride, arriving in Colorado June 16 from Utah, began on Memorial Day, May 28, in San Francisco. The ride will pass through Rangely, Meeker and Rifle on its way east.
The Sea to Shining Sea ride is a two-month bicycle, hand cycle and recumbent ride from San Francisco to Virginia Beach, Virginia presented by State Farm.  From World TEAM Sports, a national non-profit organization that creates inclusive events for disabled and able-bodied participants, this year’s ride include disabled veterans who participated in wars from Vietnam and Bosnia to Iraq and Afghanistan.
First held in 2010, the Sea to Shining Sea ride features 14 wounded warriors and two pilots for our blind participants who will ride the entire route, 3,698 miles across 14 states and the District of Columbia. Other wounded warriors will ride segments of the ride, for a few days to a few weeks.
The Sea to Shining Sea ride provides a life-changing experience for participants, for volunteers and for spectators. “The ride symbolized for me facing the impossible, which many of us on the team could relate to in our lives,” said Kevin Sullivan, a 2010 ride participant. “As the miles passed, the ‘impossible’ became the ‘very possible’ and the focus switched from changing our lives to changing the lives of others.”
“World T.E.A.M. Sports has given me an opportunity to re-identify myself,” said Nicolette Maroulis, who rode the entire cross-country journey in 2010 and later participated in World T.E.A.M. Sports’ expedition to Nepal for wounded warriors. “People don’t look at me as just an injured veteran anymore. They now see me as the veteran that rode her hand cycle across the country and climbed a mountain in Nepal. These experiences have allowed me to see myself as a stronger more complete person. I am not just surviving after being injured, I am truly living!”
At many major cities that the route will cross, community and media events will be held to publicize the event and allow the public to meet the team. The riders will also stop at American military bases along the way, as well as connecting with local communities of disabled persons in towns and cities it travels through.
Thank you!, 
Richard Rhinehart
Communications Manager
World T.E.A.M. Sports

Flamingo sighting
Dear Editor:
Many of you may remember a few years back when Rangely became the home of a large colony of flamingos residing at the Rock Park at the east end of town. They soon, however, grew seemingly tired of the town and left as a group.
Recent sightings in southern Wyoming, though, have suggested that perhaps the flock is on its way back to the area. High winds in this area recently may explain why they have not appeared yet. We predict that they have stayed grounded until the weather improved but should now be aloft once more.
It is reported that it’s a surprisingly large group. It’s not known at this time if the original avian residents, Flo, Mingo, Frankie and Gracie, are among the members of this company of birds. We also don’t know at this time where, if they decide on Rangely, they will land. They may decide again on the Rock Park or they may split into separate colonies and choose random areas.
Please join us in welcoming back this beautiful bevy of bird species.
CNCC Ornithological Society
Dear Editor:
I am writing with regard to the upcoming primary election for both Rio Blanco County Commissioner race and the Senate District 8 election. I have and continue to support Kai Turner for Rio Blanco County Commissioner, as well as Jean White for the District 8 Senate seat. Both current Commissioner Turner and Senator White have served our area full time and have become very effective.
As I read in the May 31 issue of the Rio Blanco Herald Times the Rio Blanco commissioner candidate questions and answers it became very clear regarding Commissioner Kai Turner’s professionalism with regard to the position. I believe he understands that we, as a county, must plan for the future. In other words, long-range planning is vital to the continued well-being of our county. I believe Commissioner Turner has the ability to balance the day-to-day operations, working in a team effort to achieve goals and objectives. I further believe he has gained a great amount of knowledge with regard to the importance of water for and to our county. He has and continues to represent  us well with regard to the critical water interest for Rio Blanco County. The long and the short of my support is continuity within the office of Rio Blanco County Commission-ers. Commissioner Turner offers continuity, experience and leadership for not only the present but for the future. 
With regard to Senator Jean White. Words alone cannot express her sincerity for our Senate District 8.  She is always available to listen, research and make the decisions that will benefit the whole. She is not a one-issue senator. Once she became Senator White, she hit the ground running. Her knowledge of the system and how it functions is truly outstanding. She is also a person who knows in order to get anything done you must be able to work both sides of the isle. She truly has and will continue to be effective for District 8. 
I respectfully ask for your support for Rio Blanco County Commissioner Kai Turner and State Senator Jean White as you fill in your mail-in ballot. I also would like to thank all of the individuals who have chosen to run for office, be it local, state or federal. I thank you for your time in reading this letter. Please exercise your right to vote for these most important positions for our area. Remember every vote counts.
Thank you,
Peggy J. Rector  

Don’t change horses
Dear Editor:
There is an old and wise saying historically used in support of retaining incumbent elected officials who are seeking reelection: “Don’t change horses in the middle of a stream…” Yet another similar saying suggests that: “Actions speak louder than words…” Together these timeless sayings describe what is worth careful thought before casting your vote in the imminent primary election that will determine the holders of offices critical to Rio Blanco County.
These analogies simply and wisely suggest that if an incumbent elected official has clearly demonstrated that they are doing a good and effective job while in office, it is in the best interests of their constituents to keep that official in office for another term.
The citizens of Rio Blanco County will soon make a decision as to who will represent them as a county commissioner and as a state senator from District 8. There are some important issues that you as a voter should carefully consider in making this decision and you are asked to factor them into your ultimate choice when you vote.
County Commissioner Kai Turner and Senator Jean White have both demonstrated a very positive and excellent record of leadership and service for the citizens of Rio Blanco County. Their distinguished service should be rewarded by reelection to another term of office. They work cooperatively together at the county and state levels to influence and direct favorable legislation and administrative policies that bring advantages to us all as citizens of Rio Blanco County. They also intervene to prevent adverse legislation and actions which are not in the best interests of Rio Blanco County. Many citizens are often not even aware of these critical efforts that are a part of the daily work of elected officials, and only become aware when they are adversely affected by issues that are viewed as negative for them.
Both Kai and Jean are genuinely interested in hearing the opinions and input of their constituents and taking that input and applying it whenever possible to make informed decisions with positive outcomes.
Some have suggested that other candidates with little or no prior experience or involvement serving in an elected office can do well with only a record of prior experience in the private sector or business, but this is not necessarily always the case. The private sector and government have two separate and distinct roles which are of necessity, complementary and unique. The private sector has an important role in the economy with an ultimate objective to be financially successful. Government has a role to determine the rules for fair and competitive conduct by the private sector and when necessary, to enforce those rules fairly to protect the interests of the consumer and all those who are engaged in enterprise. This balanced model has worked well to make America the greatest and most successful country in modern civilization. Understanding the distinct and equal roles, and the importance of the private sector and of government is essential for every citizen so that a critical balance is always in effect which is optimally favorable and fair to everyone.
You as a voter are urged to consider the many advantages that Kai and Jean have made possible during their terms of office for each of us in Rio Blanco County. It is vital to retain them in office to continue to demonstrate their effective leadership, many talents, considerable experience and influence serving on key organizations and committees for the continued benefit of our county. To lose the advantage of the seniority and proven track record of experience offered by Kai and Jean by replacing them with other less experienced, untried and unproven new candidates would be a tragic loss for us all.
Please retain Kai and Jean when you cast your vote! We will all be better served with their continued effective leadership and advocacy for our county.
Submitted independently by citizens of Rio Blanco County on behalf of Commissioner Kai Turner and Senator Jean White
Mary Ann Wilber
Sandra Bradfield
Robert Amick
Brooke Mantle
Connie Theos
Setting the
record straight
Dear Editor:
A few days ago my opponent responded to some fliers that came from a group called Coloradans for Integrity. The very name of this group suggests that what they say is true, so I did the research and found exactly that. Contrary to Randy’s letter to the editor, SB9 108, the “Faster Bill” was not even mentioned in the flier, and his final NO vote on HB11 1278, the “Sex Offender” bill can be found on page 1428 of the House Journal. His votes on the other bills are exactly as stated in the flier, and that IS him sleeping in his chair.
I am committed to running a clean campaign, and feel strongly that my constituents do not appreciate the clutter of slanderous lies coming from my opponent and his supporters. So here is the irrefutable truth and a clear comparison between the two of us. While I always vote in the best interest of northwest Colorado, my opponent consistently votes with his Front Range leadership and special interest groups.
Here are a few examples that should resonate with my constituents. He voted against restoring $54 million in severance tax dollars to our counties, against $28.3 million to fund water projects, against $15.5 million for fire mitigation, against restoring the Senior Homestead Exemption, and against a 4 percent reserve, or rainy day fund. I supported all of these measures because I knew they were important to Northwest Colorado. He also co-sponsored a bill that would severely cut revenues to energy impacted county governments and supported SIP, which has a price tag of nearly $1 billion to our two power plants. I voted against both of these measures. I don’t think Northwest Colorado can afford his blind loyalty to the Front Range agenda.
Despite his attacks on me, I am a conscientious conservative who believes in individual freedom, personal responsibility and keeping government out of our lives. I will always put my district first, defend our Second Amendment rights and be responsive to the needs and concerns of my constituents. I uphold the constitution, which states marriage is between a man and a woman, and I support civil unions, which is not gay marriage. My husband and I have two adopted children, which is why I am staunchly Pro Life. I have respect for every citizen of this state and have no room in my life for discrimination, bigotry or intolerance.

Jean White
Colorado State Senator, District 8

Eskelson support
Dear Editor:
As a small independent oil and gas operator working in western Rio Blanco County, I recently had the opportunity to meet Jeff Eskelson. Jeff is a native Meeker, Colo., resident running for county commissioner. After our meeting, I can definitely say that he would be a wonderful county commissioner and a credit to your community. Jeff cares deeply about the people living in the county and the importance of job creation.
In our conversation, I explained to Jeff the risks involved in the oil and gas business and the present difficult regulatory environment in Rio Blanco County. As an example, the permit to drill my recent well in the county cost my partners and me more than $30,000 in county fees and consulting costs. This compares to a well I recently drilled in Nebraska which had total permitting costs of $150. It is no wonder why the oil and gas activity is down dramatically in Rio Blanco County! A good friend of mine who runs a large oil and gas company in western Colorado recently told me he would do everything he could to direct his corporate efforts to Garfield County rather than Rio Blanco County. This thought process is becoming widespread throughout the oil and gas industry. As the oil and gas industry leaves and works different geographic areas, so goes the tax base and jobs for the county
Jeff knows what it is like to meet a payroll and create jobs. He can help get Rio Blanco County back on the right track.  I strongly urge everyone in the county to support his candidacy.
Thomas M. Hauptman, President
KGH Operating Company

Graduation theft
Dear Editor:
Remember May 26, 2012? It was time for smiling, laughing and celebration. Congratulations to the graduates. There were happy tears.
Until … my daughter along with other fellow Junior girls were serving refreshments after graduation in the auxilliary gym, when upon setting her phone down for me to take a picture of their group when someone took her phone. We have been waiting to see if a small child had picked it up and the parents would realize it and turn it into the police department . . . well, that has not happened. I am still hopeful that someone will read this and realize that someone that was at graduation is now in possession of a new Black iPhone 4S in a lavender and white otterbox. It was purchased from Union Cell on April 14. Nicole was very upset and we couldn’t believe it was gone. I hope the person who took it may have a good heart and return it to the police department. No questions asked. I understand cell phones are being stolen frequently. I want everyone to be aware to keep your possessions safe.
Rhonda Hilkey