Trying to Reason with Wildfire Season

Column by Hal Walter

Wildfire – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

THROUGH THE SMOKEY HAZE of summer forest fires, up and down the ranges from Westcliffe to Leadville, stands of copper-brown beetle-killed evergreen trees paint the mountainsides like a sepiatone photograph.

The clusters of dead trees, their needles still clinging, stand out like pock marks on the lush woods of the Wet Mountains. They mottle the flanks of the Sangre de Cristos.

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Roy Gould: Sculpted in Intensity

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local Artists – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

ROY GOULD’S life is in flux. It’s one of those exciting, terrifying times when everything’s changing and anything’s possible. That energy is evident in the way he’s bouncing around his cabin, words racing as he talks about his work, his past, his son, his house, and his views on everything from community activism to raising children.

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Martha deserves a raise

Letter from Ed Hawkins

Economics – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha Quillen:

Well now you’ve done it again. You have set me thinking all over again. I’ve read your Letter From the Editor “Keeping Up is Hard to Do ” which appeared in the July Colorado Central Magazine. In fact, I’ve read it numerous times. Four to be precise. On first reading, I disagreed with a number of things you wrote. On second reading, I agreed with the article as a whole concept. On third reading, it was intensely thought-provoking. On fourth reading, I decided that you are one hell of a writer and thinker. Tell Ed to give you a raise; or better yet, ignore Ed. Give yourself a raise.

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Pity the poor Central office dog for her ignorant owners

Letter from Jeanne Englert

History – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ed & Martha:

Oh, pity your dog, Ted. The pig ears you asked about in the August edition are dog chewies, which, due to ignorance, you have not bought for her. Dogs must like ’em because the Country General Store on South Boulder Road has bushel baskets and bins full of them. Similar to the rawhide chews you’d buy in the pet section of your supermarket, but cheaper. (Tim Englert and I assume that pigs’ ears on the doggy-treat shelf in Safeway may make some customers squeamish whereas rawhide is apparently more abstract.)

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Slow times don’t need to be hard times

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Economy – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine


It seems just a bit disingenuous to rely on population growth as some sort of silver bullet, or to whine about a slow economy. Watching the productive musculature of mines, ranches, and railroad erode into the comparative flab of tourism and tract homes has been painful. A few short years earning a buck in new constrction were enough to convince me that I might as well be sawing off the limb I was standing on. Watching the invader hordes swarm up from the flatlands I guess I had some inkling of how the Serbs came to hate the Turks. That was in 1980. Now the flatland Turks have pretty much overrun everything north of Centerville, via South Park, and another army advances through Coaldale up the canyon encouraged by the conjurings of some of our realtors and businesses.

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Keeping motors of trails an excellent idea

Letter from Paul Brown

Motorized Recreation – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine


I wholly concur with Hal Walter’s desire to keep motors off our National Forest trails. I have never understood how anyone could derive pleasure from screaming up a trail under a noxious cloud of gas and the roar of an engine. The riders don’t even look at the scenery.

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Confessions of another ‘Green Extremist’

Letter from Ray Schoch

Motorized recreation – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine


Regarding Hal Walter’s August piece on getting “motorheads” off the trails: Thank you, Hal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

I’ve had pretty much the same experiences he’s had (not counting the ones with pack stock), and liked them just about as much as he has.

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It won’t be hard to christen a jackass

Letter from Dave Skinner

Motorized Recreation – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine


As usual, the August edition of Colorado Central was a cover-to-cover. As an ex-railroader, I was surprised and impressed with Sharon Chickering’s report on the Leadville Mineral Belt.

In stark contrast, however, Marcia Darnell’s fey little item on the land-use forum in Monte Vista was an insult, not only to readers, but to the participants. That Darnell had to trot out the “UN blackhelicopteritis” angle to make her point was careless and lazy.

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Running Hard to Stay in Place

Essay by Ed Quillen

Land Use – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

IF A PRIVATE CITIZEN like Ted Turner owned 3 million acres of Colorado — about 4.5% of the state’s area — his every known action would doubtless fall under close public scrutiny. Whenever he built a barn or tore down a fence, bought some bison or sold some horses, we’d know about it.

But there’s an agency that controls 3 million acres of Colorado, and hardly anybody pays much attention to the State Land Board.

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Traveling through time at Inter-Laken Resort

Article and photos by Nancy Ward

Local history – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

UNLIKE MOST mountain ghost towns, the ghost resort of Inter-Laken is not one of the drive to/drive through scenic breed. It can be reached only by hiking the Colorado Trail or by water conveyance. But the journey through Inter-Laken and its history is worth the effort.

[Inter-Laken Hotel]

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Dexter Cabin open for tours

Sidebar by Lynda La Rocca

James V. Dexter – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

In 1948, the Colorado Historical Society moved the Dexter Cabin to its current location next to the Healy House Museum at 912 Harrison Avenue, one block north of Leadville’s downtown business district. A bequest from Roland G. Parvin, the husband of James V. Dexter’s daughter Harriet, enabled the Historical Society to restore the cabin.

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James Vila Dexter: Leadville’s other millionaire

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Photos by Steve Voynick

Local history – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine –


THE OLD SAW, “You can’t judge a book by looking at its cover,” could have been the motto of James V. Dexter.

This wildly successful entrepreneur, financier, and mining investor was one of frontier Colorado’s earliest millionaires. But you’d never guess that from the exterior of his Leadville home, the rough-hewn 1879 log structure known today as the Dexter Cabin Museum.

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Dispute over in-stream rights stalls Sand Dunes legislation

Brief by Central Staff

Water politics – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

At the start of the year, almost everything looked on track to expand Great Sand Dunes National Monument into Great Sand Dunes National Park.

It had the support of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Colorado’s state government, and Colorado’s entire congressional delegation with the exception of Rep. Joel Hefley of Colorado Springs (who said the Dunes weren’t so special as to deserve Park status).

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Salida urges residents to save water, but not too much

Brief by Central Staff

Salida water – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Walk around Salida these days, and you see a lot of yellow lawns, along with yards where there’s no grass at all. Perhaps some of that is the result of sloth or this hot and dry summer, but we suspect most of it is a consequence of water meters.

The idea behind installing meters (besides the fact that a state law required it, but the city government is often rather selective about which state laws it will chose to obey) was to reduce water consumption, so that the city’s supply of treated water could be stretched to accommodate growth.

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Keeping it confidential? Or covering it up?

Brief by Central Staff

Local politics – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

This summer, Chaffee County Sheriff Ron Bergmann has proven himself to be a dexterous politician, right up there with the masters of the trade.

Recently Bergmann was charged with a Class 1 Petty Offense for failing to perform a duty imposed upon him by law. The story starts with Dean Schumacher, a 38-year-old Buena Vista man who last year was sentenced to a 90-day and a six-month term in the county jail, to be served concurrently. But the jail staff misunderstood this as consecutive terms, so Schumacher spent an extra eight weeks in jail.

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Generican Broadcasting invades Salida

Brief by Central Staff

Local Media – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

We can add our complaints to the chorus concerning how Salida’s radio station, KVRH, covered the returns from the Chaffee County Republican primary on Aug. 8.

Here was the hottest local election in years — one with the highest percentage turn-out in the state this year — and KVRH didn’t have live broadcasts from the courthouse or the candidates’ gatherings.

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Hike up Headwaters Hill on Sept. 16

Brief by Central Staff

Headwaters Hill – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

It won’t be a “naming quest” this year, because the christening paperwork has been sent off to state and federal offices for Headwaters Hill, about four miles south of the summit of Marshall Pass in Saguache County.

At only 11,862 feet, it’s certainly not the tallest mountain in the area, but it is one of only five places in the United States that divides three continental drainages.

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Democrats finally find a candidate for state senate

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

We were wrong a couple of months ago when we reported that Larry Moser of Crawford would be the Democratic state senate candidate in District 4 to oppose Republican incumbent Ken Chlouber this fall.

The actual Democratic nominee is John Ford, a Buena Vista teacher.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Noxious Weed Win-Win?

A unique experiment is under way in Monte Vista to see if cows will eat noxious weeds. Cattle are grazing the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge for white top, tall white top, and Canada thistle.

Success would mean a solution to weeds and more grazing land for cattle.

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A hard day for incumbents

Brief by Central Staff

Local Politics – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Chaffee County set the state record for voter turn-out in the Aug. 8 Republican primary, where challenger Joe De Luca defeated two-term incumbent Frank McMurry by 1,787 to 1,293, which works out to a 58-42 margin. No Democratic candidate has been named, so De Luca is pretty well assured of election in November.

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Nature is as close as your telephone

Essay by David Feela

Recreation – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

MAYBE THE HOUR IS TOO LATE; maybe nobody is working the desk, but someone should dial for a wake-up call.

Hopefully the switchboard operator will send it directly to any national or state park employee who is responsible for implementing the 1-800-reservation system used for campers attempting to stay overnight in public campgrounds.

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Western Water Report: 10 September 2000


There will be a festival on Friday, September 22 at Confluence Park in Denver. The festival, sponsored by the national Project WET (Water Education Training), will run from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. It is part of a celebration taking place in all 50 states and in Canada. The intended audience is 5th grade students and their teachers although special guests will include elected and appointed city, county and state officials and representatives of various natural resources interests, with a presentation at noon to honor Mayor Wellington Webb.

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