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Nov 26, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Newspaper holiday

It's Thanksgiving week, which brings up a bit of newspaper scheduling information. The Ranger will not publish Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving Day. Our aim is to get the paper out a bit earlier than usual Wednesday, and we'll be back as usual Friday. (And, yes, to the unexpected number of readers who have asked, we will publish one of our two traditional Thanksgiving "repeaters" Wednesday.)

On the calendar

Thanksgiving is arriving late this year -- the latest possible, in fact. By law, the holiday falls on the fourth Thursday of November, and the month didn't get its first Thursday until Nov. 7. There can be no later date for Thanksgiving than this one, Nov. 28.

Hot holiday meal

The Riverton community food drive to provide Thanksgiving meals is on again for Thursday morning. Look for details on page 1 of today's Ranger.

The most important fact is this one: If you need a hot meal on Thanksgiving Day, for whatever reason, call one of these numbers -- 856-6332 or 851-6507 -- to make the arrangements. There are no questions asked other than "how many do you need, and what is your address?"

Spend it here

Mention of the shorter period between Thanksgiving and Christmas brings to mind local efforts to promote hometown shopping for holiday gift-giving. We recommend to readers' attention the full-page advertisement on page 12 in today's edition. Participating advertisers join with The Ranger in urging community members to include local stores in their shopping plans this Christmas season. Please take note of the advertisement, consider the importance of the message it conveys, and, as always, please support the local businesses that support your local newspaper.

Iran breakthrough

There is disagreement in Washington, Tehran and Israel about the value and future effectiveness of the deal struck over the weekend by Secretary of State John Kerry that would put a temporary end to Iran's nuclear energy (weapons?) program and ease some of the stern economic sanctions imposed by the rest of the world while negotiations on a permanent agreement are forged over the next six months.

Not tough enough? Israel's bellicose Benjamin Netanyahu thinks so, as do Barack Obama's critics at home who are ever-ready to poke holes in anything and everything he does.

We'll know by next summer if this deal does any good, but it is a breakthrough in a long, unpleasant conflict. We have to walk before we can run, and this does at least have us ambulatory again on the issue of Iran's troublesome nuclear ambitions.

New library chief

All the best from the newspaper office to Tracy Cook, the new head of the Fremont County Library System. She emerged earlier this month as the only candidate the county wanted for the job, and she accepted the offer last week.

The modern-day librarian has a much different job from her predecessors of 20, 50 or 100 years ago. The public library is no longer primarily a repository for books to lend, although that remains a core mission of any good library. Today's libraries also are performance spaces, meeting places, venues for the presentation of important public information, exhibit areas for art and other materials for public enjoyment and inspection, access points for the Internet, and a source of answers to public inquiries. There also is a museum element to a good library, and libraries play a recreational function as well.

Public libraries are supported by tax money, so they have an added element of public trust as they fulfill their duties. This is a big, conspicuous job, and Fremont County has a new, well-qualified person doing it. We urge all citizens to join us in wishing Tracy Cook well.

Thanks

Our pattern of fine November weather got a very chilly interruption the past few days, but things are looking pretty good for the great American holiday of autumn. If it's calm, sunny and warm enough for a walk outdoors between the final bite of turkey and the first bite of pie, then that's something to be thankful for on Thursday in and of itself.

Happy Thanksgiving, and here's to a good week.

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MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Friday's edition of The Ranger was delivered to the Riverton post office by 3:30 p.m., in time to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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