Mike McKibbin

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August 15, 2012
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Can't wait for fall and all it brings

Monday should have been the first official day of fall.

That's what it definitely felt like, thanks to the all-too-rare day-long rain storm that cooled us off and watered thirsty lawns and gardens.

Other signs of the changing of the seasons have occurred recently, too, or soon will.

The summer Olympic games came to an end a day before the rains came, after a thoroughly enjoyable (and very successful for the U.S.) 17 days. Not sure if this relates, but it seems the older I get, the more I enjoy watching these athletes compete.

There's something special about seeing someone try their best to compete, without the trappings of megamillion dollar contracts in sports that don't get bogged down in lockouts and strikes. You don't have all the outside-of-competition nonsense like arrests and suspensions. Or at least you don't hear very much about them. Reminds me of all that's good about athletics.

Another rite of fall is the start of a new school year. This one is notable in both Garfield Re-2 and 16 for their switch over to four-day school weeks. Friday is the off day in Re-2 and Monday is the third day of every weekend in 16. It should be interesting to see which off day suits the schedules of parents and families best. Or if there's any difference.

There are several businesses and organizations that have stepped up to offer "fifth day" programs for day-off activities, which is encouraging. For awhile there, it didn't look like anyone would come forward. As usual, several did. Now let's see how participation works out.

And I'll want to see if, or how many, angry parents call their schools when they realize they're going to have to find something for their kids to do on their extra day off. Not sure too many won't already know they're going to have that task ahead of them, but no matter how you try to spread the word, there's always someone who didn't hear.

Another similarity: Both districts saw mill levy increases that might have kept students in class five days a week defeated by voters in last year's elections. That, along with millions in state budget cuts, led to the change in the school year calendars for both districts.

This fall will see an important issues decided in the city of Rifle, where voters will say yea or nay to a city sales tax increase so their water rates don't soar quite so high. It's all to help pay for a new $25.5 million water treatment plant.

Given the defeat of the two mill levy elections, when the local economy was in the same downturn it's still in today, I wouldn't bet the question will pass muster. At this time, I haven't heard of any group planning to promote its passage. The city is not allowed to do anything along those lines.

And finally, the best reason of all to look forward to fall: Yes, you guessed it ... football season! Can't wait to see how the Broncos and Peyton Manning fare against one of the toughest schedules in memory. And I'm anxious to see how I fare (usually not well) in fantasy football.

So, even though we're not officially in the fall season, there are many signs our long, hot, dry summer is nearing an end. Happy days are close at hand, yes, indeed.

Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.

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The Post Independent Updated Aug 15, 2012 05:55PM Published Aug 15, 2012 05:53PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.