The world is a bleak place these days, but not everything is bad. It doesn’t hurt to look to the positive once in a while. So we at the Four Corners Free Press would like to make note of some things for which we are thankful:
- The number of cases of coronavirus in Montezuma County remains relatively low. At press time there were 70 confirmed cases, just 10 of those active. There will be more, particularly as the results come in from the latest round of free testing offered by the health department. But so far we have done fairly well. It helps that many people are wearing masks while out in public.
- The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe has recorded very few confirmed cases of the virus – 15 as of the last update we heard about. This is exceptionally encouraging. The Utes have been vigilant and proactive about taking measures to keep the coronavirus away. Their leaders wear masks and set good examples. They encouraged testing and more than half the tribal members responded.
- The Cortez City Council has been well served by the five members to whom it recently said goodbye. This was a solid group with a diversity of viewpoints. They had to deal with some tough and contentious issues. Mayor Karen Sheek did an excellent job, making herself accessible, sharing her views via newspaper columns, and leading meetings with patience and courtesy. When the council was faced with an onslaught of criticism regarding a proposed new land-use code, councilors listened for hours to the critics, who were sometimes quite rude. The board responded by rejecting the proposed code. This is in contrast to the county commissioners, who never seem to listen to anyone who speaks in opposition to their views. We hope the new council members will be equally thoughtful and responsive.
- Some folks who have been planning a gathering in Cortez’s Centennial Park on the Fourth of July have apparently abandoned their original idea of bringing their own fireworks to protest the city’s decision not to shoot off any this year. The latest social-media posters for the event say that there won’t be fireworks out of concern for emergency responders. Considering the fire danger around the area, this is a wise decision.
- We are fortunate to have a good hospital with a fine staff in Cortez. The live sessions that Southwest Health System was offering regarding the pandemic were helpful and well-received.
- The gatherings that have been held locally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have gone off without any serious disturbances. At the most recent event on June 27, a protest in Cortez organized by young people, it was silly and puerile that a local man felt compelled to show up with a firearm when every local demonstration has been low-key and peaceful, without vandalism, but there were no problems because of this. There was some motorrevving by a vehicle bearing a Trump banner, and there were similar displays at other, earlier vigils in Montezuma and La Plata counties, but no one came to blows. That’s a huge relief.
- We in the Four Corners live in a lovely area where we can escape into the outdoors and get away from people. We hope that will always be true and that tourism stays at a manageable level rather than running amok as in Utah, where national parks and public lands are overcrowded.
We are truly blessed to be here. Let’s celebrate the good things.