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Autumn teaches us a valuable lesson. During summer, all the green trees are beautiful. But there is no time of the year when the trees are more beautiful than when they are different colors. Diversity adds beauty to our world.
– Donald H. Hicks, "Look into the stillnes"  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 9 September 2020  

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Michelle Barrette

  
  By Michelle Barrette
  Publisher

   The summer of 2020 — YIKES! With September and the elections less than two months away and COVID 19 still lurking in communities; wildfires blazing across California and Colorado; another hurricane disaster on the Gulf Coast; and schools across the nation in experimental mode to tackle COVID, fall doesn’t look much better.
   
   But I don’t want to be all doomsday — Mark’s Meanderings covers that scenario. Mark Stoller gives everyone some pointers on preparing for the worst come fall, given the current state of the country. YIKES!
   
   One thing is for sure: We have a long way to go to settle the unrest and turbulence in this country. And the first question has to be “why.” Why are Americans killing other Americans? Why is there so much hate? A lot of why’s and a desperate need for answers.
   
   I can’t think of a better way to calm the nerves than turning to Mother Nature. Of course, it’s the season of Aspens, when green turns to glimmering gold, when you can see not only the gold but also the red and orange brush that blankets the hillsides of Manitou Springs as you drive west up Highway 24. There are lots of places to view the fall colors; here is the No. 1 favored site that isn’t too far from home. (For the top 10, visit https://www.colorado.com/articles/10-places-see-colorados-fall-color.)
   
   Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in North America, and it winds through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park to Grand Lake. With more than 8 miles above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road is a favorite spot for lookers and photographers.
   
   We need to protect those Aspens and hillsides and every other inch of Colorado terrain against the ominous wildfires. Robin Widmar tells a story about her “brush” with a fire and how and why it was readily stamped out. See her story on the FFPD news page.
   
   Leslie Sheley and Stephanie Mason also addressed two area school districts’ decisions on reopening schools. As I said earlier, it is like rolling the dice, although we’re dealing with the lives of kids, teachers and parents. My daughter is an elementary school vice principal and while there are lots of obstacles to overcome, everyone is eager to have students back in the building and create some sense of normalcy.
   
   Growth and development continues to be a huge issue. A former county planner has written an informative and enlightening opinion editorial. And, because we have people calling about developments in the area — most of them we’ve previously covered — we are going to feature a development each month, assessing its current status, its progress and buildout. This month, Pete Gawda reported on Sterling Ranch. Also, regarding the cement plant, apparently, it’s out of mind now that it has been shut down by the county commissioners. The person who initially wanted us to do a follow-up has not returned our phone calls.
   
   Finally, it’s Labor Day this weekend. Always the first Monday in September, Labor Day is a holiday celebrating the dedication and achievements of the American workers and their contributions to the well-being of our country.
   
   The government first recognized workers through municipal ordinances in 1885 and 1886. The first state legislation to recognize Labor Day was passed by Oregon on Feb. 21, 1887. During that same year, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York also legislated Labor Day. As other states jumped on board, in 1894, Congress took note and passed an act designating the first Monday of September a legal holiday.
   
   For certain, the labor force today looks a lot different from the 1800s. But we still have a country of so many hard workers, and this month we celebrate them all.
   
   See you in October,
   - Michelle
  
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