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An "Open Door" to Communication
I learned a long time ago that when you get busy in the process, you need to look up from your work from time to time and make sure you are communicating with the others involved in the process. Otherwise, you are asking for a "this is not gonna be good" outcome. A case in point would be the time when my childhood friend and I were building our first go-kart. Somehow our wheels got crossed, and I ended up building the front at my house while he ended up (yep, you guessed it) building the other front at his house. After about a week of not talking to each other because of our mutual conclusion the other was an idiot, we finally settled our similarities by assembling the first four-wheel steer go-kart in our neighborhood.
Our contraption was innovative. Unfortunately, because of difficulties with the steering controls, we couldn't push it very fast, but I'm here to tell you we could take a corner on a dime and leave you nine cents change. Lots of loving names for our go-kart circulated around the neighborhood, and I like to think that certain other kids in the neighborhood marked and later profited from our innovation. Some of them were destined to be future engineering students or entrepreneurs. Come to think of it, not so very long after our pioneering efforts, such things as articulating tractors and busses started showing up on the market and the rest is history. Yep, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
Although I have digressed, my point is that BRC has been very busy this past year instituting some significant changes in how BRC serves its members through our website. If you haven't visited www.sharetrails.org lately, you really should. The improvements we've made on the website are intended to make it easier for you to stay informed and to interface with your organization. Brian Hawthorne, Ric Foster, and Travis Poppe have completely revamped the public lands page on the website to make it as informative on the latest news and issues as it can be. They've also made it very easy to sign-on for BRC's refined alert system, and we've even provided a means by which you can get the latest information directly to your computer through our RSS feed, using an RSS client. You can find your congressmen, write a letter on an issue, and more. Mary Jo Foster and Travis have also made joining and contributing to the BlueRibbon Coalition very simple and even streamlined the online membership renewal process. Voting in the annual elections is only a button-click away for members on the website. Even our online store has undergone big changes, with lots of new products you can purchase to support our efforts to protect access.
Now, I'm going to look up from our work and provide you with another "open door" of communication on the website. I've asked Michael Patty and Travis to provide you with an "Ask Greg" button on the front page. The point of the "Ask Greg" button is to give our members, and even potential members, a simple way to ask me questions about the BlueRibbon Coalition that they can't seem to find answers for. You ask, and I will devote my column in the magazine to answering those questions. That way, everyone can get the benefit. I don't guarantee that I have all the answers, and if I don't, I may defer to our president or board member, another staff member, contractor, or even an outside expert. Whatever the case, I will do my best to get those answers and provide them to you in my column. I can't guarantee that I will get to your answer right away in the magazine, but sooner or later, I promise I will get to them.
Obviously, this is not intended to replace communications about urgent needs you have with issues you are working on. Nothing changes there. Use our contact page to email the right person/department or give us a call on those issues--that is the point of being a BlueRibbon member. But on those other, broader questions or suggestions about the organization, you only need to click and ask. I'll answer in this column so everyone can benefit from better communication. We are here to serve you.
--Questions or comments regarding this article should be directed to the BlueRibbon Coalition: Phone: 208-237-1008, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email: