Up and down el Rio Blanco: Thank you veterans

Thank you Rio Blanco County veterans and local V.F.W. Post 5843 for leading us in showing respect and honoring our fallen with your annual tossing of a wreath into the White River and placing another at the memorial in Highland Cemetery, where fallen veteran’s graves were marked with American flags and there were many.
Our color guard and veterans look sharp in their uniforms, Rob Baughman’s prayers brought tears and the 21-gun salute is powerful, as was the sounding of “Taps,” it always gives me goose bumps.
My friend Randy Ridgeway said it best after Tom Kilduff presented him and his family with a maquette of the bronze statue, which local veterans are raising money ($85,000) to place on the courthouse lawn to honor all our veterans, when he said, “Without your service, we would not be here, thank you and God bless you.”
Ridgeway’s family received the maquette of a modern day soldier, for being the first family to donate $2,500 to the project. For a donation of $7,500, one would receive a 30-inch maquette but donations do not need to be that big to help meet the goal, allowing us sooner to honor and enjoy the memorial on our courthouse lawn. Donation cans for the project are placed around town at several business or you can make a contribution to the Rio Blanco County Veterans Memorial by sending a check to VFW Post 5843, Rio Blanco County Memorial Fund, Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main St., Meeker, Colo., 81641.
The cost of the proposed statue is nothing compared to the sacrifice made by those it will honor and those honored Monday last.

• • •

I hope everyone read the answers our candidates for Rio Blanco County commissioners gave in this week’s issue, to a few general questions. As usual in Rio Blanco County, all four candidates are Republicans and the election of two will be decided by mail ballot. According to RBC Clerk and Recorder Nancy Amick, ballots will be mailed next week and due back Monday, June 25, 2012. I have been asked by several people about hosting a candidate forum and all four candidates have agreed to attend, one in Meeker and one in Rangely but the earliest dates all candidates would be available for both days were June 20 (my birthday) and June 21 and it is my hope voters will attend the forums to meet and ask questions of the candidates before mailing in their ballots. We are working on the details of time, place and location and will publish them next week. The format will be to give the candidates a few scripted questions with two minute answers, then allow time for questions from voters in attendance.

• • •

I’ve also heard from a few folks voicing safety concerns about kids riding motorcycles, four-wheelers and driving OHVs on the streets of Meeker. Also for next week’s issue, I have set up to meet with Meeker Chief of Police Bob Hervey about the new ordinance recently passed by town council allowing OHVs on the streets and will have him explain the laws and how his department is enforcing them. RBC administrator Kimberly Bullen said the county would use an advertisement to publish the rules and trail etiquette for the new Wagon Wheel OHV trails, as a way of educating riders. “This could be a good thing for our county economically but we want people to know and follow the rules,” Bullen said.

• • •

I also want to thank Kelly Sheridan for inviting and taking me on an airplane ride Monday last. We live in a beautiful part of the world and the views of it from an airplane are spectacular, thanks Kelly!