Seeing red
by Maxine Deeter
Jan 19, 2011 | 9715 views | 0 0 comments | 1496 1496 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I attended the uranium open house last Thursday so that I could give a report.  No, there was not much seeing red at that meeting.  It was very civil.  More on that later.

No, here is the story of “red”.  I ran into several friends and neighbors at the open house, one of whom was that Senior protector and mover and shaker of La Sal, Maryanna Hutnik.  She runs our local Senior Citizen Center.  Seems we have our own, official chapter of the international “Red Hat Society” right here in little ole Sierra La Sal!  Who woulda thought!

One of the first orders of business was to crown a red hat queen.  Now, if you know Maryanna, you know she does not do things by half.  If there is going to be a queen, a real crown is needed. 

Miss Maryanna informed me that it is not easy to find such an item!  She wants to give a big thank you to Rose Fryer of “Wild Roses” of Moab who donated her very own crown for the coronation in La Sal.  Crowned as the Red Hat Queen of La Sal is our dear Merlene Kyle.  There is no finer lady in these parts.

One of the great perks of living in our little valley is the awesome sunsets that we enjoy many -  if not most – evenings.  Town – (Moab and Monticello) -- has mountains and cliffs that mostly obscure these beautiful displays of Mother Nature’s artistry.  There have been several such displays in the last few days.  They run from bright red to violet.

Another gorgeous evening site is at the beginning of the sunset in the winter when “The Mountain” is turned a mellow pink as it reflects the coming sunset.  It is good to see “The Mountain” in its winter covering of snow. 

Whenever I see such awesome sites I want to immediately grab my camera and record the scene forever.  A photog I am not.  I try.  But I require a brainless point and shoot digital variety of camera.  My photos are less than satisfactory.  I marvel at all the wonderful displays published recently in the San Juan Record “Photo of the Month” calendar (a perk of this job, by the way!). 

It is thrilling to hear that one of the activities bantered about for happening at the community center this year is a photo class.  I know many of us use a mindless point and shoot, but there are tricks of the trade that can enhance the images taken.  And, we do have some folks hereabout that can impart this knowledge to others.  Stay tuned!

Okay, a report on the “uranium” open house last Thursday.  When I arrived, there were a couple of dozen folks mingling and enlightening themselves on the proposed expansion of Denison’s mining complex locally.  Those hosting the event were well pleased with the turnout.

A lot of familiar, local faces were in attendance, as well as some not recognized.  Apparently they were from towns close about.  There were also a few impromptu “educational” groups hearing “the rest of the story” – that was not presented in the government information.

Having just spent many years participating in “Open Houses” in my day jobs, I know that means that you come and see the information compiled for the analysis and if you desire – leave your written comment.  There is no opportunity or vocalizing or opposing each other on the spot.

Just a note on comments – they are not emotion or opinions.  They are not “I think the project should go forward as it brings jobs to our area” or “I oppose this proposal because it presents a health hazard to people living in the area”.  What is wanted is substantive comments such as “your reasoning is flawed as indicated by this scientific data I’m putting forward”.

Also, it is not a vote as in there were this many comments in favor and this many opposed.  That, too, is not scientific evidence – still just opinion.  I’ve seen 20,000 “comments” come into an office – enough to shut down the e-mail system and wear out several printers.  Still, it’s not a vote.

Some folks came out for the entertainment value – to see what the other side had to say.  But in an open house, those opportunities are not available.  They often end in heated chaos.  Ergo – open houses are a calm way to present information in a non-confrontational manner.

Many folks previewed the information before hand as it is all available online.  It is also possible to send in comments via that method and many folks chose to do that.

That’s all for this week.  Now, I’m thinking I need to go acquire a red hat.  Seems like the thing to do.
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