For 10 years I have been writing this column every week. During that time, I can count on one hand the number of times I simply could not come up with a topic I wanted to write about.
This is one of those times.
It’s not that there’s not a lot to write about. There is plenty. But none of it seems to flow. As I write this, I have started several different columns and gave up after a few paragraphs. So this may be a little different. Here are a few things I’m thinking about.
• Friday morning began with tragic news — two bodies found near the Wahweap swim beach.
It didn’t take long for law enforcement to figure out the two people, both Page residents, were most likely dead due to a murder suicide. The victims were later identified as Matt Franklin, 37, and Raelle Begay, 25.
The next morning, four members of Raelle’s family met with me to share their thoughts. I learned Raelle and Matt had been dating for around half a year, but then I learned something troubling.
Lenora Begay said her daughter showed clear signs of domestic violence. Lenora said one time her daughter ended up in a hospital and just days before she died, she came home bruised up.
But no matter what mom said, she couldn’t convince her daughter to leave.
Domestic violence is something I have thought about a lot, but not something I have lived. From the outside, it is easy to say just leave, but I know it is hard and sometimes impossible.
Here’s the reality. Everyone wants to be loved. That desire is so great, it overrides common sense. People around the country are staying with their abusers. And they do it for love. It’s sad, but is a stark reality.
• Last week, I received photos from the graduating class from Tse Yaato High School. Every graduate has a lot to be proud of, but there are some in that class that stick out to me. Those graduates earned their diplomas while raising their own children.
Tse Yaato has a program that not only keeps young parents in school, but the school allows mom and dad to bring their children to class with them. The program makes it possible for a teen to get their education and still be a parent.
And I personally love it.
Across the nation, far too many teen moms have little choice but to drop out of school to raise their children. Some lucky ones get help from family so they can stay in school. But at Tse Yaato, these students can continue to learn while being a parent — at the same time. That’s a win, win for everyone.
• Over the last few years, the Page City Council has spent a lot of time talking about improving infrastructure in the city. Now, it appears they have moved beyond talk to action. And that should be good news for all Page residents.
Over the next few years, local residents should see pretty strong improvements to city parks and roads. To make the improvements, the city is spending millions of dollars, and the end result will be a better quality of life for those who live here.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard since moving to Page is the city doing too much for tourists and not enough for local residents. Well this move is 100 percent for local residents.
Will tourists benefit some, too? Sure. Anyone who drives on improved roads or visits better parks will benefit. But this move is solely for local residents.
And best of all, the tourists, through the taxes they pay while here, are mostly paying for it.
And for that, I say well done.