For the last two months, Americans have been abuzz about the Total Eclipse 2017.

The path of totality moved from South Carolina to Oregon on Monday, with Sedona and the Verde Valley seeing the peak around 10:30 a.m. We at the newsroom took a collective break around 10 a.m. and went into our parking lot to view the eclipse through General Manager Kyle Larson’s welding mask and a number of us also visited a telescope set up in front of R.C. Gorman Gallery, where dozens of Uptown workers and tourists took a peek.

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Be safe on the road with school back in session. School has resumed throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley.

In the last few weeks, readers will note that we have run several press releases from nonprofits and state agencies preparing parents and students for the return to classrooms. With school back in session, it means more children will be on the sidewalks and streets early in the morning and in the afternoon.

For most children, back-to-school is nothing new, but for others, walking, biking or taking the bus to school is a new activity and some may not necessarily be the safest or aware of traffic or the rules.

Early in the morning, be aware of children waiting for the bus on curbs and corners. Make note of bus stops near your home and be sure to drive safely and slowly in these areas. Children can dart into traffic unexpectedly or may not look both ways before crossing the street. Kids may also be a little sleepy in the morning and may not pay attention on their walk.

Likewise, children who bike to school may not be aware of the rules of the road. Be patient if a young cyclist isn’t riding safely. If your child or a child you know is biking to school, remind him or her to ride with the flow of traffic, obey all traffic signals and wear a helmet.

Teenage drivers are also on the road, some driving alone for the first time, others having only driven alone for a few months. While most teens are respectful about taking the family car to school or exceptionally careful about driving a vehicle they spent their own, hard-earned money to buy, sometimes teens forget they’re maneuvering several hundred pounds of steel.

Likewise, parents taking their children to school may be distracted and forget to signal, merge or make the turn to school in time. Be wary when approaching roads leading to school. There are also bottlenecks that form on particular routes or lanes in the morning and afternoon, so plan accordingly.

Remember to be safe around school buses. When a school bus halts and the stop sign comes out, you are required to stop, even if in the oncoming lane.

Many schools are also looking for volunteers for all sorts of projects and activities. If you are interested in helping out at a school to keep yourself busy or because you may have a talent that could help educate a child, contact your local school and see what principals and teachers may need, whether it’s as an artist in the classroom or a teacher’s aide or school bus monitor at the end of the day.

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, a traffic incident occurred in front of Tlaquepaque, backing up southbound traffic into West Sedona.

Fortunately, a two-lane bridge over Oak Creek allowed vehicles to maneuver past the truck and continue moving southbound onto State Route 179 without too much of a delay … wait, no, that didn’t happen.

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The Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission is inadvertently on a path to have the longest meeting in the city’s history.

The original June meeting was extended to August and has been extended again, likely in October. Now, this would be commendable if this meeting involved an issue over which the city had actual control, but the fact is the commission is trying to find a narrow fix to an issue which the city has almost zero power over: The potential placement of cellphone towers on public rights-of-way.

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On Tuesday, I received an unsolicited piece from Keep Sedona Beautiful’s volunteer coordinator written by Dick Ellis and Bill Pumphrey titled, “A Story of Citizen Involvement in the Reconstruction of Arizona State Highway 179: 2000-2010.”

Too long to be a letter to the editor and with no reference to any current story or with any news value related to an anniversary or such, I have zero idea why it was sent to me.

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Now in full swing, the Sedona Summer Arts Colony is the brainchild of Paul Amadio, head of Verde Valley School, and Eric Holowacz, executive director of Sedona Arts Center, and cosponsored by their two respective organizations.

The impetus of the colony began in fall 2015 during the first meeting between the two men. They invited about 40 local artists, art promoters and figures, myself included, to a dinner at the school shortly thereafter to give us all a heads-up about the program they were planning to launch.

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