Postcards from a road trip

Column by Hal Walter

Central Colorado – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

SOMETIMES getting out and around is easier said than done. Other chores call. There’s work to be done. And gasoline can be expensive. Then, at other times, it becomes imperative. You can’t get anything done at home, and fuel seems cheaper than a visit to a shrink. During a recent bout of emotional distress, I found myself driving around Central Colorado, taking stock of things.

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Legislative Riders Ride Hard on the Environment

Essay by John Rosapepe

Politics – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

I LOVE THE BITTERSWEET ENDING of summer. Warm days and cool nights. The hint of color on the tree-clad mountains. The last blackberries ripening on the vine.

That’s the sweet part. The bitter part is the final stretch of the political season. Not only is there ugliness on the campaign trail — with candidates spending millions to cast nasty aspersions on their opponents — but there is the specter of pork barrel politics in Congress, where members try to sneak through special interest legislation before they adjourn.

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Proper pork for the Rural West

Essay by Don Olsen

Politics – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

SINCE 1998 is an election year, politicians will soon be returning to their districts here in the West with wonderful news of all the federal bacon … er, funding they have brought home to the various corporate interests … er, constituents who have helped support their election to office.

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We gotta do our share for the industrial complex

Letter by Clay Warren

Mountain Life – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

We gotta do our share to keep the industrial complex cookin’ along


Thet fellow Ron Baird’s article about Chama reminds me o’ the punch line in that joke where the canary climbs out o’the dung pile and warbles himself right into the cat’s mouth. Keep yore lip buttoned bub, or 10% o’ the front range will move in on the strength o’ yer recommendation.

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Keep it up, and please do more

Letter by Trout Creek Ponderist

Colorado Central – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Keep it up, and more

Greetings to Ed, Martha, and the many other contributors to CC:

There are many of us out here who love to tell kith, kin, etc. of the causes of the ups and downs of life in Central Colorado, but few voices have had as effective an influence as those of you who put that voice in the written form known as Colorado Central. Thank you.

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The blight continues to spread

Letter by Matt Hutson

Gentrification – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

The blight of gentrification continues to spread


This week the City Council of my hometown of Carbondale passed an open-container ordinance. Where once one could idly sip a beer along Main while watching the occasional car go by, it’s now a crime.

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Summitville needs science, not scare stories

Letter by Paul Martz

Mine Pollution – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Summitville needs science, not silver-water scare stories


In reply to the call for some perspective in Jeff Stern’s letter in your September edition, I think he’s right, but probably not in the same fashion he had in mind. I’d like to introduce some facts into the discussion about Summitville, not just the anecdotal “evidence” and political opinions contained in his letter.

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Dan Rohn’s Platinum Prints

Article by Clint Driscoll

Local Artists – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN DAN ROHN and his wife, Mary, settled in Salida in 1996, they may have been new residents, but they were familiar with the area. Every August for forty years they camped and fished in Central Colorado: learning the back roads, and finding perfect camp spots, quiet fishing holes and hidden hot springs.

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Gunnison will vote on taxing itself for water war

Article by Chris Dickey

Gunnison Water – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE CONTROVERSY over diverting water from the Gunnison Basin to the Front Range has outlasted two District Court rulings and one from the Colorado Supreme Court rulings. Today, the issue seems no closer to being decided than when it first arose more than a decade ago.

The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District has taken the lead role in opposing transbasin diversion. As a result of this expensive legal battle, the taxpayers of the district are being asked to approve a tax hike.

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Even if Gary Boyce goes away, the water problem won’t

Essay by Ed Quillen

Colorado Water – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN WE STARTED this magazine in 1994, AWDI had just lost all its court appeals, and it appeared that any story we published on the water wars in the San Luis Valley would be history, rather than journalism.

We watched, from a distance but with interest, as Gary Boyce began re-assembling the old 100,000-acre Baca land grant, and then in the spring of 1996, we got word of a meeting near Crestone where he would explain his plans.

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The Closed Basin Water Diversion

Article by Ed Quillen

San Luis Valley Water – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

WITH ONLY TRIVIAL EXCEPTIONS, no rivers flow into Colorado. But despite the best efforts of generations of developers, attorneys, and engineers, water does flow out of Colorado — by national and international law. It has to, under various “river compacts.”

In general, each state is responsible for its own water policy in the American federal system. But Colorado is in a position to use up all the water in the Arkansas River before it reaches Kansas.

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A quick esitmate of a water budget for the Closed Basin

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

San Luis Valley Water – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

A Quick Estimate of a Water Budget for the Closed Basin

The surface of the Closed Basin — 2,940 square miles — gets about 7 inches of precipitation a year. The flanking mountains — Sangres, La Garita Hills, San Juans — are much wetter, getting 15 to 45 inches, mostly as snow.

Now we again indulge in gross oversimplification, and simple arithmetic produces 1,097,000 annual acre-feet of water that lands directly on the Closed Basin.

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Appearing on your November ballot: a water war

Article by Ed Quillen

San Luis Valley Water – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION, Colorado voters will determine the fate of several ballot initiatives. Most reflect current social and political contentions that extend beyond the state’s borders: partial-birth abortion, parental notification for abortions, term limits, medical marijuana, and tax credits for private schooling.

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The Stupid Zone can show up at your door

Essay by Lynda La Rocca

Mountain Life – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

AH, THE JOYS OF LIVING on a major thoroughfare during tourist season in the scenic Upper Arkansas Valley of Central Colorado.

Every summer for the past 16 years, my husband Steve and I have encountered visitors who pull their cars onto the road shoulder just long enough to shout the universal question, “How do we get to Aspen?”

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Heard around the West

Brief by Betsy Marston

Heard around the West – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine


You’re in a car when a thunderstorm boils out of the West and rain pelts down. What do you do? Nothing, of course, since the National Lightning Safety Institute says cars are one of the safest places to be during lightning strikes relatively speaking.

Two teenagers in a ’92 Subaru near Jackson, Wyo., found that their car’s antenna attracted a lightning bolt, which struck with a huge boom, recalled Krista Bristol, 16. “Everything went black, and then it went white, and neither of us could hear for about five minutes,” she said. As for the car, the Jackson Hole Guide reports that it stopped dead and its antenna melted into the window. But the experts may be right: Though tingling and awed, Bristol and 14-year-old Renee McKinley emerged unscathed.

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Salida’s Elevated Reputation

Brief by Central Staff

Art Scene – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Elevated Reputation

Salida apparently made it into the Aug. 14 edition of the Wall Street Journal. We say “apparently” because the one mentioned in that newspaper was at an elevation of 8,000 feet, whereas the one we know has an elevation of 7,033 feet.

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Getting into the Fremont Zone deponds on what you call it

Brief by Jan Evans

Zoning – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

A local building contractor has suggested that Frémont County should throw out its zoning regulations and start over.

That sounded like the raving of an overzealous survivalist, until I explored the fascinating world of county zoning regulations. Compared to neighboring Custer and Chaffee Counties, Frémont’s rules concerning what people can do with their land are the most complex.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

And in This Corner …

The opposition is organizing. Citizens for Colorado Water received its first major contribution, $100,000. The non-profit group says its goal is to disseminate “fair and accurate information on ballot initiatives concerning water-related issues.”

The ballot initiatives slated for November are seen by many as an attempt to export area water and turn the San Luis Valley into another Sahara. A farmer at the group’s first rally likened the initiatives to a case of potato blight, in terms of economic impact.

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Large Luggage Rack Estates?

Brief by Central Staff

Language – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Looking for a lot in Large Luggage Rack Estates?

A reader drove past the Baca Grande development near Crestone and wondered what the name meant in English. The “grande” part was easy — it means “big.”

But “baca” isn’t so simple. The Signet New World Diccionario Español/Inglés defines it as “top of a bus, stagecoach, etc., covered with canvas or leather, used for passengers or baggage,” and another dictionary says “luggage rack.”

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Urban immigration is another name for cultural genocide

Essay by Dave Gowdey

Growth – October 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Urban immigration is another name for cutural genocide

THIS YEAR, for the first time since Arizona was settled, hunting will not be allowed in the Walnut Canyon area around Flagstaff. The wealthy new inhabitants of the area, from Southern California mostly, don’t favor hunting.

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