Guest column: Lifelong Rifle resident wonders why things are the way they are in her home town
On a recent walk through Rifle, I realized there are a few things I don’t understand about my beloved home town:
• Why we can’t have an indoor swimming pool in Rifle instead of being expected to drive 40, 60, or 120 miles and most of you think that’s okay because a) you own a vehicle that will get you that far, b) your kids somehow learned how to swim in our cold and overcrowded pool, and c) you hate taxes.
• Why there isn’t a four-way stop at the intersection of White River Avenue and 9th Street, but there’s an unnecessary one a block east.
• Why there isn’t a four-way stop at the intersection of White River and 16th Street.
• Why Rifle has FIVE medical marijuana stores.
• Why my neighbor was dealing meth. His mother would be ashamed of him.
• Why anyone smokes marijuana or uses illegal drugs, or for that matter, why any of you smoke cigarettes.
• Why Glenwood Springs has had an almost-daily newspaper for decades, but Rifle still doesn’t have one.
• Why busts like “Black Sunday” depress people, but booms don’t (I’m the opposite).
• Why people get upset about teacher salaries, but they never complain about the annual cost of maintaining high school football fields.
• Why religious services are advertised on the Garfield County Fairgrounds sign using public funds.
• Why anyone but rock climbers are required to pay an admission fee to Rifle Mountain Park.
• Why we have three entities in Rifle with overlapping interests competing for resources: the Rifle Creek Museum, Rifle Historical Society and the New Ute Theatre Society.
• Why the rivalry between Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools is fomented by teachers, as though rivalry is ever a good thing.
• Why we ignore our semi-arid climate and continue installing and over-watering lawns.
• Why we can’t get rid of the frequently-ignored yard sale sign ordinance.
• Why the only candidate I knew personally and respect a great deal, Steve Fuller, didn’t win a seat on the city council.
• Why the trails to the high school can’t be fixed so students who dare to walk don’t have to slide down the hill when it rains or snows.
• Why the Methodist-Presbyterian church inflicts unmusical chimes on its neighbors.
• Why businesses, churches, and individuals violate the flag code (e.g., the flag should be illuminated if it’s displayed at night).
• Why Rifle stores display anti-vegetarian and anti-women objects in their stores and stick dead animals on their walls.
• Why the county paved over most of the fairgrounds.
• Why we can’t have an annual Peace Walk like the one held in 2001 with the goal of creating stronger ties between all people in our community.
• Why the light by Centennial Park’s 1995 bridge has never been fixed, in spite of reports to Xcel Energy.
• Why Rifle’s bicyclists don’t ride on the correct side of the road.
Judy Crook is a lifelong resident of Rifle, descended from pioneers who arrived here in 1885, six years after the Meeker Massacre led to the removal of the Ute Indians.
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