Kremmling can rightfully take pride in many things |

Kremmling can rightfully take pride in many things

On Tuesday, we ran an editorial cartoon that made light of the recent underage drinking compliance checks that resulted in court summons for several liquor store employees across the county. The cartoon focused on Kremmling, saying that teens have a 50/50 chance of buying alcohol in that town.

The following day, we received several phone calls from Kremmling residents and one particularly pointed call from West Grand School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Perry.

He felt the cartoon was a cheap shot at his community and, as a member of a task force working to resolve the problem of underage drinking in Kremmling, he said the joke was a setback to all the work that was being done.

He said the cartoon had been a point of discussion among teachers that day and they were angry.

To them, it seems like the paper takes every chance it could to point out the negative in their town.

This, we believe, is perception and not reality.

Unfortunately, the anger over that cartoon erased any memory of a front-page story with inside photo spread in Monday’s paper about the observatory at West Grand High School.

As a general rule, people are more likely to remember something negative than something positive. The emotion associated with the memory plants it deep in the psyche and it’s difficult to erase.

So, as the week comes to a close, we would like to spend a moment celebrating the efforts of the West Grand School District and the larger community, as something of an olive branch.

This is not hollow praise.

It was not so long ago that Kremmling received state-wide attention for the construction of its 10,000-square-foot concrete skate park – located on school property.

Nearby Steamboat Springs, a much larger community, has not been able to find support for a concrete skate park, despite repeated requests from area youth. In November, Kremmling was praised in a guest commentary to the Steamboat newspaper for its support of the skate park.

In a time where underage drinking is a growing problem in Grand County, Kremmling – a town of fewer than 2,000 residents – took a proactive step by providing a space for teens to socialize in a positive way.

According to the Colorado Department of Education Accountability Reports, the school district has a funding rate of $10,406 per student – which is higher than 60 percent of schools in Colorado. (State average is $8,900 per student.)

The students of West Grand are a month away from moving into a new building, which has great views of the surrounding cliffs and migrating elk from the classroom windows.

And, as we highlighted in Monday’s paper, they have expanded their science curriculum with the installation of an astronomical observatory. The project was partially ($2,000) funded by the El Pomar Youth in Community Service Club, a philanthropic board comprised entirely of the West Grand High School students.

Again, the installation of an observatory is something much larger schools have not been able to accomplish.

There is a lot of good happening in Kremmling. Adults and students are working hard to make their community a better place. No editorial cartoon can diminish what they have accomplished.

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