The Rifle Police Department wants to remind everyone the fire season is upon us. This year, all indications suggest the fire danger is rising rapidly on the Western Slope, which includes Rifle and Rifle Mountain Park.
As provided in the Rifle Municipal Code, open burning fires, which includes the sale, possession and use of fireworks, is prohibited in the city of Rifle and Rifle Mountain Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year.
Fireworks include almost all forms, including bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, fountains, spinners and, yes, even sparklers.
Some exceptions to the open burning are back yard barbecue grills where the burning material is wholly contained. In Rifle Mountain Park, grills and the provided fire places are permitted unless the fire danger increases to a higher level requiring further restriction. If further restrictions are required, the city manager, by emergency executive order, will post notices in the park and in other places announcing the change.
For further reference, readers may go to the city of Rifle web page at www.rifleco.org. Look at Rifle Municipal Codes in section 10-10-10 through 10-10-50.
This year it will be especially important to be aware of the fire danger and be sure to follow the law. Enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day.
Chief of Police
This April, Rifle High School's bands and choirs competed at the Colorado West Invitational in Grand Junction. The varsity and Bel Canto choirs both received I ratings and the Outstanding Ensemble awards for best I-IIIA choirs. The concert band received a I and the jazz band received a II.
Rifle High School also received the Sweepstakes Award as the school with the best overall choir and band programs out of all the I-IIIA schools that competed. About 190 students are involved in one or both programs.
Rifle High School prides itself on having a strong arts program. When Principal Todd Ellis was asked why he is so supportive of the arts he said, "Researchers tell us the people who will be the most successful in the next 50 years are those who have the creative skills taught in the arts. ... However, we need to focus on the arts not just to help our kids be more successful in the work force. We need to support and encourage music education to help our students enjoy more fruitful lives."
Music itself has an intrinsic value, and the enjoyment of making music is the reward. Band and choir promote positive academic and peer associations, creativity, communication (musically and verbally), critical assessment, commitment and self-discipline through practice and performing, and self-worth through positive performance opportunities that develop confidence and require 100 percent participation. Furthermore, music promotes problem-solving skills by the development of the creative processes involved in preparing pieces for performance.
Public support for local art programs is a necessity, so go to your local band and choir concerts, see your community's plays and musicals and continue to make the arts a strong and important piece of our local culture.
Ryan Monarch, director of bands
Daryl Gingrich, choir director
Rifle High School
This week you have a rare chance to do something high-leverage on climate change and your energy future by voting in the Holy Cross elections.
This election is important because it marks the departure of the board's most experienced member, Tom Turnbull. Tom cares deeply about Holy Cross and deserves huge thanks for his leadership over more than 30 years.
For the sake of continuity and stability, he also deserves to be replaced with someone who has similar experience. Happily, that person is running, and his name is Bob Gardner.
Bob worked for Holy Cross for 30 years and was a seminal part of developing their energy efficiency and clean energy program. I've known Bob for many years and have enormous respect for him as a person; for his knowledge of utility operations; and for his support for clean energy solutions.
I'm also going to vote for Adam Palmer, a thoughtful and engaged incumbent with a strong background in applied energy efficiency as the green code official in Eagle County; and for Kristen Bertuglia, a new face in these elections, but one with a broad experience in business and energy and an interest in helping to prepare Holy Cross for a new future where carbon emissions cost money and efficiency plays a key supply role.
Please vote for Bob, Adam and Kristen to help Holy Cross continue its outstanding work as one of the country's most reliable, cost effective and environmentally responsible rural co-ops.
As a member of Holy Cross Energy, your electric co-op, you decide on the leadership, who will make decisions on our energy future, including energy efficiency programs, rebates and our portfolio of wind, solar, hydro and biomass power.
Ballots for the Holy Cross board of directors have been mailed. I ask that you take a moment and vote in this important election for Kristen Bertuglia and Adam Palmer (northern district) and Bob Gardner (southern district). I am committed to our region's future, and as a board member will ensure the following:
• Long term price stability, continued low rates.
• Continued purchase of renewable energy through smart investment.
• Responsible fiscal management.
As sustainability coordinator for Vail and manager of the town's recent $3.2 million energy efficiency overhaul, I have worked hard to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly, with maximum return on investment.
Over the past 15 years, I have worked for the U.S. Forest Service, local government, private industry and nonprofit organizations. My experience in energy management includes large commercial efficiency projects, community energy demand reduction, residential audits, retrofits, efficient building, biomass projects and waste-to-energy investigation.
By now, you should have received the Holy Cross Energy newsletter and voting materials to elect board members. Please don't discard them. Your vote is important.
As a board candidate and having attended several Holy Cross board meetings, I understand their approach to providing reliable, affordable power consistent with sound environmental practices. This involves wind turbines, solar panels, hydro and biomass for renewable energy and conventional power generation for reliability and economy. I fully support this balanced approach.
I'm a graduate engineer and a 40-year resident, and as such will contribute a background of related experience in the energy industry and numerous years of serving on a variety of local boards. I'll appreciate your vote and will be honored to serve the community.