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Local news briefs

Want to better understand your rights as a landowner, mineral rights owner, or oil and gas operator? The Garfield County Energy Advisory Board and Colorado Mountain College are sponsoring the first in a series of three community energy education forums Thursday, Sept. 14. The first session, “Surface & Mineral Owners Rights and Operators Rights,” will be held from 6-9 p.m., at the Garfield County Health and Human Services Building in Rifle. Presenters will be attorneys Nate Keever and Chris Hayes.”This first session promises to be lively because the two presenters have argued opposite sides of landowner issues,” says Pam Arsenault, dean of Colorado Mountain College’s campus in Rifle. Those who attend will learn about the laws that govern the issues but that are interpreted differently by different people, she says, and should walk away with a better grasp of the complexity involved.The second of the free community forums will be held Thursday, Oct. 26, and will focus on the geology of Western Colorado and on well-water issues. Presenters are Dr. Tony Gorody and Dr. Rex Cole of Mesa State University. The third forum will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, and will cover the life of a gas well, from inception through production.CMC’s gas and oil advisory committee includes members of the EAB education committee, says Arsenault, so the collaboration between the college and the county’s advisory board “is a natural.” She adds: “I’m hopeful that by modeling how institutions and government entities can work together, we’ll develop greater capacity to collaborate in western Garfield County.” Also coming up is the inaugural Energy Career Day at the Garfield County Fairgrounds Wednesday, Sept. 20, sponsored by the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado. Colorado Mountain College is on the committee that’s planning the event, which will bring together 300 high school juniors and seniors to explore 30 hands-on exhibits about real-life jobs.For more information about the three community energy education forums or about Energy Career Day, call CMC-Rifle at 625-1871.

The Garfield county libraries are observing Banned Books Week Sept. 23-30. The annual event reminds Americans not to take the precious democratic freedom to read for granted.Many bookstores and libraries across the nation join in the celebration with displays and readings of books that have been banned or threatened throughout history. These include works ranging from the Bible to John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”Each year, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom receives hundreds of reports on books and other materials that were “challenged” (their removal from school or library shelves was requested). The ALA estimates the number represents only about a quarter of the actual challenges.”Most Challenged” titles include the popular “Harry Potter” series of fantasy books for children by J.K. Rowling. The series drew complaints from parents and others who believe the books promote witchcraft to children.The challenges reported reflect a continuing concern with a wide variety of themes. Other “Most Challenged” titles include “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, for its use of language, particularly references to race; “It’s Perfectly Normal,” a sex education book by Robie Harris, for being too explicit, especially for children; and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, for the description of rape she suffered as a child. Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores. The Library of Congress Center for the Book endorses it.


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