Complete absurdity at the Colorado State Fair

Column by Hal Walter

Livestock – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

A few days before the Colorado State Fair Mule and Donkey Show, I decided to practice for an event called Run, Ride and Lead.

This race involves an all-out sprint across an arena to where your animal stands; you mount and ride back across the arena, and then dismount and lead the animal back across again, presumably at a run. Several arenas have recently sprung up in my neighborhood and one neighbor couple gave me permission to use their new arena for practice.

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Highway 17: Roadside Attractions & Distractions

Article by Mike Rosso

Roadside attractions – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine –

Colorado Highway 17 is not a Scenic Byway. Though it parallels the massive Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range, it’s primary visual asset is the nearly straight line it follows from the junction of Highway 285 south of Villa Grove to the outskirts of Alamosa. You won’t find a fast food restaurant on Hwy 17. For that matter, you would be hard-pressed to find anything resembling food on this byway.

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Local mountain bike builder reverses the technology

Article by Stephanie Janard

Recreation – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ardent mountain bikers seem to share an urge to continually push their limits a little further with every ride. Maybe that’s why you see so many in Central Colorado — the rough terrain is both a challenge and an adventure, and the steep trails, rocky roads, and tight curves supply a true barometer of what the body can physically endure.

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Facts have never prevented a war or a scandal

Letter from Slim Wolfe

American life – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


History teaches that those with the most toys may wind up at the guillotine.

I felt a bit queasy and dizzy as my brain tried to accommodate the shifting scene before my eyes: it rolled, flipped, and flickered at will. Was my face in a paper bag, sniffing cheap model airplane glue from a tube? No, the tube was called a computer, and editor Martha Quillen was attempting to show me where she gets her information. Bah, humbug.

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Conservation Easements help ranchers keep ranching

Letter from Mark Weston

Conservation Easements – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Dave Skinner’s essay in the June 2002 Colorado Central Magazine contained a few incorrect statements that seem to have been presented as facts. These statements beg correction because they serve as a foundation for some of the opinions that he expresses. To wit:

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Water and democracy

Column by George Sibley

water – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine –

Most of our founding fathers recognized a correlation between democratic practice and an educated populace. Washington urged the promotion of “institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge,” it being “essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” And Thomas Jefferson said, “No other sure foundation [than education] can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness.”

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Animal Shelters

by Louise Olsen-Márquez

Sidebar – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

The quality of shelters and the services they provide vary dramatically in the region surrounding Chaffee County. To the south and west, shelters are more hand-to-mouth than AVHS is, but to the north and east there are two well-established and successful shelters: Summit and Frémont.

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The kindness of strangers

Article by Louise Olsen-Marquez

Animal Shelters – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE HISTORY OF SHELTERING the unwanted dog, the stray cat, or the lost pet in Chaffee County could be covered by the weary words of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. In Chaffee County, this kindness has mainly been shouldered by busy veterinarians and volunteers — and many of the costs have fallen upon local veterinarians and generous individuals, too.

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No escape from fluid journalism

Essay by Ed Quillen

water – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

When we moved from Kremmling to Salida in the spring of 1978 and I began working at The Mountain Mail, I felt some degree of relief because I figured I would never need to write another water story. Salida, after all, was on the Arkansas and the Eastern Slope, and thereby on the receiving end of water projects. Now I lived in a basin that was a destination for water, not a source, and so there would be no need to write stories about threats to the local water supply.

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Friends make for good reading in Saguache

Brief by Central Staff

Journalism – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

One pleasant addition to the Saguache Crescent in recent months is the reporting of town board meetings by the “Friends of Saguache.” Granted, it’s not exactly “objective journalism,” but the accounts do explain what happened, and best of all, they’re a pleasure to read.

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Leadville airport expansion never gets off the ground

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

For a few days last summer, there was some excitement in Lake County about expanding America’s highest airport to handle jetloads of skiers bound for Summit County.

But the excitement quickly cooled when state aviation officials told Lake County officials that no such expansion could be considered.

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We got split up in redistricting

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

As you may have noticed, this is an election year. And for many of us, we’ll be choosing among unfamiliar candidates because Colorado has new districts for Congress, the state Senate, and the state House of Representatives. The lines had to be redrawn to reflect the population changes that were enumerated in the 2000 census.

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Chaffee Writer’s Exchange will re-issue anthology

Brief by Central Staff

Local writers – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

After our review of the Chaffee County Writer’s Exchange anthology, Ripples in the Streams of Life, we recieved a letter saying that the edition had been taken off of the shelf because many Writer’s Exchange members were upset with the poor technical quality of the publication.

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Park County bison are a nuisance, but they’re a tax break, t

Brief by Central Staff

Livestock – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Those with homes where the buffalo roam in Park County are still looking for a solution to their problems, although the county commissioners are trying.

The problem is that bison ranches abut residential subdivisions, and the buffalo often ignore fences, even if they’re in good repair (and sometimes they aren’t).

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4 candidates for Custer County coroner

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some years ago, the state legislature moved Colorado’s primary election from September to August. The official explanation was that it would give the winners more time to campaign for the general election. Cynics claimed that turnout would be much lower in August, when Coloradans are generally busy with company or off on vacation, and so the party stalwarts would have an easier time controlling the nomination.

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Folsom points found at Gunnison dig

Brief by Central Staff

Archeology – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Prehistoric Gunnison was the site of an armory — or so it appears from two years of excavation near the mountain-side W that overlooks the city and the campus of Western State College.

More than 24,000 stone points and other artifacts have been uncovered there by archaeologists and their students, and the chipped stones may cause a major revision in the theories about early habitation of this part of the world.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Special Delivery

Blanca postal carrier Kathi Smith saved an elderly disabled woman on her route last month. The 87-year-old had fallen almost a day before and broken a hip. Smith, who checked on the woman’s welfare when making deliveries, called for help. Both are recovering from the experience.

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Hungry bears keep visiting

Brief by Central Staff

Wildlife – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

By all accounts, this is shaping up to be a busy season for bear encounters. The drought has reduced their food supplies, and in the early days of autumn, a bear will consume up to 20,000 calories a day (the equivalent of 160 glazed doughnuts) to put on fat for the winter hibernation, which usually starts toward the end of October.

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Nature magazines need to get over themselves

Essay by Stephen J. Lyons

Environmentalism – October 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

These days of diminishing resources call for drastic measures. In my own household we have cut down on car trips. Entire days go by without firing up the gas-combustible engine. We recycle vigorously. When non-essential appliances break, we don’t replace them. We don’t flush the toilet after each use either. The air conditioner stays idle long past the point of comfort, prompting one visitor to comment, “How can you people live this way?”

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Western Water Report: 3 October 2002


Unregulated inflow to Lake Powell in water year 2002 was only 3.06 million acre-feet or 25 percent of the 30 year average and is lower than the previous low water year which occurred in 1977. Drier than average conditions have now prevailed for the past three years in the Colorado River basin. Total unregulated inflow into Lake Powell in water year 2000 and 2001 was 62 and 59 percent of average, respectively. The Colorado River basin has received some drought relief in September, however. Numerous rainstorms (and some high elevation snow) have reached all areas in the basin. Current storage in Lake Powell is approximately 14.5 million acre-feet (59 percent of capacity). The current projection shows that the water surface elevation of Lake Powell will be about 3618 feet (82 feet below full pool) on January 1, 2003.

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