================================================= I might have lived here in the US long enough until I had one opportunity to learn how things would have gone in "my" community.
At the very beginning, my family and I had chances to choose to be in the following universities (cities); University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), University of Kentucky (Lexington), and Mountain State University (MSU; Fort Rockies).
Many thought that we would choose UMich because of its superiority in academic reputation. But, upon our scholarship's conditions, UMich was simply too expensive and we couldn't afford it....
So, we had to decline UMich.... UK? It's located in Lexington which was a very good city at affordable cost of living (and tution&fee). But, when compared to our school, we would have more other activities and more beautiful scenic to enjoy here in the Rocky...rather than living in the plain of the state of Kentucky.
One more important factor that affected our selection was a city ranking. In that time, the city of Fort Rockies was ranked #3 of the best place to live in America.. There were a variety of reasons why it was ranked in that high standard...
Taken together, we chose to be here in this very city.... Thus far, it's almost five and a half years... We had never been sorry of being here in the embrace of the snowy mountains and high plain of the Rocky.
In year 2006, "our" city was ranked as #1 of the Best Place to Live in America by Money Magazine/CNN.
Even though I'm not a native of this city but I'm proud to be one of their "guests" and felt very honored about this....
It's a place where we'd raised our kids.... and had great times altogether. Both of our kids grew up healthy in both physically and mentally... This city had a significant role in these tremendous developments of my children....
My older son had been involved in many activities... Almost all of them were programs offered by the city.... Tennis program was one of those...
He had been playing tennis for 4 years.... believe it or not.... Time actually flew.... He and his classmates played in a tennis school. This tennis school was located in a public park. Tennis players in this club played joyfully in any kinds of weather... no matter what the sun was shinning, the wind was howling, or snow was blowing, they always played.... OUTSIDE!! :) Many of times, classes had been cancelled because our tennis courts were covered with 2 foot of snow and lacking of a public indoor tennis facility. But the spirits of those young tennis players had never been dampened.
Few weeks ago, the manager of the tennis school told us about a meeting organized by the city... This meeting aimed to re-prioritizing and re-managing city parks and recreational activities offered by the city.
In this winter of 2006-2007, we had experienced an unusually "thick" snow.... From Christmas of 2006 up to the current mid-February of 2007, we had hit by 6 snow storms.... Cumulatively, we had around 48 inches of snow.... That's 4 feet!!
Litterally, our tennis courts were buried by this gracier... The school tried and tried to dig it out... But, tenaciously, the snow storms unrelentlessly slammed us one after another... We couldn't keep up with them....
So, this meeting was a fine chance to raise a problem..... We desperately needed an indoor tennis facility for these young, eager tennis players to continually improve their skills... One day, who knows, one of them might have become a tennis pride of this lovely city!!
So, my wife and I (who're obviously not American citizens) would like to participate and voice out our opinions upon the issue in this public hearing....
The meeting was organized by the city, but there were contractors who oversaw the city parks and recreational activities came and managed the meeting.
For this park and recreational issue, there were 3 public hearings for the city's residence... So, if ones could choose which session they could attend... We chose to be in the Friday meeting...
In the meeting, there were around 30 people coming with different needs/objectives. But all of them would like to see positive changes occured in their city. Then, the organizers handed out a questionair of which they would go over one by one.....
Essentially, those questions were what were strength and weakness of the current services and facility available in the parks, what should have done or improved, what were current needs differing from the old plans, and what the residence would like to see the parks changed in a positive fashion.
In the meeting, there were people interested in improving watersports (e.g. cayaking and canoeing) , golf, swimming, tennis and so on.
Everyone had chances to raise their points. The organizers would take note and bring these issues to further considerations when they had to make their decisions in budgetting.
Even in the best place to live in America, budget and its management was the most concerned issue.
There were representative of the local tennis organizations, tennis coaches and tennis parents coming in the same session. Thus, we had more "hands and voices" to voice our needs to serve our interests--- one of them was having an indoor tennis facilty for our youth and other tennis players to be able to enjoy this sport year-round.
I wrote and raised this issue not because would I like our country to be the same as it was here like this wonderful city.... I just would like to point out that listening to the residence was a one of the key factors to "build" a city to be a lovely place for everyone living within it. =================================================
================================= Note: My life has been intertwined with works and many others. New responsibility has emerged, resulting less and less time for my ordinary life. Although, a love to write is still intact... But having less time is related to having less imagination.... Therefore, I could not come up with new writings for quite some times.
It might be a good time for me to leave this forum for moment.... Please take it as Mr. A.T. is having a sabbactatical leave or something like that....
As noted above, my love to write is still the same... and will not be changed. Sometimes somehow, I hope I could come back and give some thoughts in this blog once more.
Cheers, Mr. A.T. June 6th, 2008
My pen-name in Pantip is amatuer translator. Actually, I'm a lousy translator with lame translation. My pen-name is somewhat misleading, I have no background in linguistics what-so-ever. Anyway I love to read, write and communicate with people...
Reading is my most favorite hobby. I read everything from shopping bags to articles in theoretical physics. I do research and teaching for my living. So, reading, writing, thinking and doing research works are my everyday routine.
I would like to define myself as a person who is accepting new ideas and adopting those into my way of life.
I believe in power of knowledge/education. I think every society can be a better society with knowledge. Ignorance can be dispelled by it. Humanity can live sustainably and harmoniously with each other along with its biosphere with understandings in the nature surrounding it.
Apart from my philosophical thoughts reflecting who I am, I can tell you something I like or love in particular;
I love dogs.... Particularly, labradore retrievers.... One day, I would like to spend my time and life with them as a big part of my family.
Zhuge Liang is my hero. With his wisdom and faithfulness, he led a tiny army to a mighty and formidable kingdom. He left his humble residence with a hope to come back. But, sadly, he had never returned and died far far away from home in a horse carriage in a battle field. If I could choose where I would, I would say where-ever my lovely wife was nearby.
I value happiness and my family as my first priority. My profession and my philosophy come in the second. Pursuit in wealth has never been in my desire.
I'm glad to be your friend, and look forward to seeing you around krub.