Every summer, it becomes clear that Delta County residents value reading. This is proven to the Delta County Libraries in many ways: by organizations donating money for programming, by parents taking time to bring their children to events, by the cheers of the crowd as the library float passes by in local parades, and by the hours and hours participating readers log during the summer reading program.
"Part of why we love summer reading so much is because we get such a great response from the community in so many different ways," says regional manager Lea Hart. "I really want to thank everyone who gave something to the program this summer."
Months before the summer reading program begins each year, Delta County Libraries requests donations from county businesses to help support the program. Money goes to prize books, snacks, program supplies and more. This year, almost one hundred area businesses, organizations and individuals donated money and goods to the summer reading program, and countless volunteers offered help to keep the program fun, exciting and running smoothly.
Donations and volunteers assisted the district in offering more than 50 programs over the eight weeks of summer reading, entertaining adults and kids with puppet shows, music events, seed saving workshops, crafts, and a whole lot more. Staff gave out a variety of prizes, including hundreds of books to kids who successfully read for 20 hours or more.
Some examples of incredible generosity include the teamwork of the Cedaredge Friends of the Library, library staff, Big John's Lumber, and Bruce Stanley and Keith Kollasch, to make 36 wooden horses for children to decorate and ride in the Little Britches parade in July. Participants were allowed to take the horses home. In Paonia, young Carmen Rodriguez devoted her time to perfect a puppet show with library staff which entertained children all over Delta County. Rodriguez has offered her time for other puppet events, much to the delight of the children.
At the end of the program, participating patrons were asked to describe their favorite superheroes. Along with an assortment of the expected comic book characters, young participants included meaningful statements about their superhero parents and other influential adults in the community. When asked who her superheroes are, district director Annette Choszczyk easily answers, "Our communities are filled with heroes. Certainly all of our staff members are superheroes. They achieve great things using an amazing variety of talents."
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.