This ain’t no disco

Column by Hal Walter

Ranching – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

IT’S BEEN A COLD WINTER, but by all signs it’s ending early. Calves were born in early February and mares started cycling with the March full moon. A mourning dove arrived the first week of March, and flocks of robins followed in the warm still days. The small accumulations of snow that remained as depth hoar throughout the below-zero nights disappeared, lingering only on the north-facing slopes where large bowls formed around the trees. A person who is connected to the land takes notice of such things.

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The literature that gets no respect

Essay by Lynda La Rocca

Poetry – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

POETRY IS THE Rodney Dangerfield of literature: It gets no respect. Never mind the protests of those who claim to love verse or the fact that many of us “mature” folks can still quote lines from beloved poems memorized in grammar school. And I don’t even want to talk about “celebrity” poets, best known for endeavors like singing, acting, or politics whose verse, generally speaking, ranges from the embarrassing to the abysmal and whose work is published solely because it has a famous name attached to it.

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De-seeding cannons aimed at preventing hail

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

Cloud-seeding – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

If you can make snow fall by shooting particles into the sky, can you prevent hail from falling by dispersing particles?

Hailstones, like snowflakes, begin as tiny particles that attract water in clouds. The difference is that snowflakes fall quickly, whereas hailstones get pushed up and down inside the cloud by air currents, gaining layers of ice until they’re so heavy that they fall and pummel the earth.

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Does cloud-seeding rob Peter to pay Paul?

Sidebar by Allen Best

Cloud-Seeding – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Are cloud seeders stealing your water?

No, say scientists, but legal issues of cloud seeding are not yet sorted out.

One of the most frequent questions asked about cloud-seeding programs is whether, by drawing extra moisture from storms, areas downwind will be deprived of precipitation that should be theirs. Or, as the website for North American Weather Consultants puts it: Does cloud seeding rob Peter to pay Paul?

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Experiments will help Denver decide

Sidebar by Allen Best

Cloud-seeding – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Random experiments will help Denver decide whether to continue cloud seeding

In pioneer days promoters of homesteading in the arid West said that rainfall follows the plow. While there is little evidence that those promoters were right, it can be said conclusively that cloud seeding follows drought.

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Wringing the clouds with artificial insemination

Article by Allen Best

Water – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

LAST OCTOBER a committee from the National Research Council issued a lengthy report that found “no convincing scientific proof of the efficacy of intentional weather modification efforts.” In other words, cloud seeding doesn’t work.

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The Pilgrimage writing contest

Sidebar by Lynda La Rocca

Pilgrimage – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE PILGRIMAGE WRITING CONTEST

FIRST PRIZE IS $1000

Pilgrimage, a bi-annual literary magazine, invites Colorado Central readers to enter a writing contest. Here’s what the magazine has to say about its aspirations and rules:

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Dealing with Pilgrimage

Sidebar by Lynda La Rocca

Pilgrimage – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Pilgrimage, circulation 600, is available by subscription for $15 a year (two issues). In Chaffee County, it is sold at The Book Haven, 128 F Street, Salida 81201 for $8 an issue.

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Pilgrimage Magazine gets a new editor and a new home

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Local Arts – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

If a “pilgrimage” is a journey to a sacred place, then Pilgrimage — the magazine — is the vehicle that gets you there.

After finishing the most recent issue, I was reminded of these lines by poet T.S. Eliot:

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With Bo Callaway and a Sane Environmentalist

Column by George Sibley

Enviroment – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

THIS IS MOSTLY A STORY about David Orr, an educator, environmentalist, and a hero of mine for the past decade. But it is also a story about Howard “Bo” Callaway, a major owner of central Colorado’s biggest ski area until early March of this year, and not really one of my heroes — until I read David Orr’s new book this week, and discovered that (now that Bo is gone from Central Colorado) I may need to reconsider him. Confusing, but that’s life.

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More about the Yellow House and Maysville

Letter from Doris And Larry Wills

History – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

On a whim, I typed “Oscar Chapin” into an Internet search engine and what happened, but the article on the Yellow House in Maysville showed up, from your October 1997 edition!

Ebenezer Chapin was my husband’s great-great- great grandfather — his great grandfather being a brother of Oscar Chapin who built the “Yellow House.” We first saw the house about 20 years ago when it was abandoned and beautiful in its neglect.

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Poverty is relative

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Economics – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

Ah, February, the month to strike doom and gloom into the hearts of the Quillen Pundits Society, as reflected in the March issue: Walter on death and depression; Martha on Democracy; Sibley on the Silent Majority; Wolfe the indecipherable.

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Who would determine a fair compensation scale?

Letter from Laird Campbell

Economics – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Editors:

Martha’s thought that people ought to be paid according to their value to society has one flaw. Who decides? How would you compare the worth of a professor of English at the University of Colorado with that of a football coach? Would the opinion of the president of the university be the same as that of the head of CU’s athletic booster society?

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Some reasons to worry

Letter from Glada Costales

Politics – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Editors:

I heard on CNN last week that our federal government’s debt — the accumulation of past budget shortfalls — now totals more than $7 trillion. Do you know how many 0’s this is? $7,000,000,000,000.00. It is certainly immoral to run a national debt exceeding $7 trillion, every penny of which our children and grandchildren will be responsible for paying back.

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Railroad sidings had names; some were also towns

Letter from Charlie Green

History – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

Responding to the Spikebuck question [in the March edition]: Spikebuck is one of dozens of sidings on rails around Colorado. They served two purposes: They allowed trains to pass each other and had water tanks for refilling the engines in the steam days. (Going up took a lot more water than going down so the upgrade train could fill without impeding the downhill train.) It was also a place for work trains to park while the crews worked along the main track.

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About the Old Spanish Trail

Sidebar by Martha Quillen

History – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Long before San Luis, Alamosa, Moffat, Saguache, and Gunnison were founded, trappers, traders, and merchants came through this region ferrying goods from Santa Fe to southern California — and back.

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Wagons will retrace Old Spanish Trail route

Article by Earle Kittleman

History – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

MEMBERS OF THE FOUNDING CHAPTER of the Old Spanish Trail Association met Saturday, Feb. 28 in Del Norte to elect officers and hear plans for this year’s progressive trail ride through the San Luis Valley, June 20-24.

Chapter president Max Lara of La Jara was re-elected along with the other incumbent officers who met with members and interested guests at the Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center.

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Unplanned obsolescence

Essay by Ed Quillen

Technology – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

BACK WHEN OUR DAUGHTERS were in school here, one of them came home with an assignment that made me feel old. She was supposed to ask her parents about how daily household life had changed since we were kids 25 years earlier.

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Radio in the Wet Mountain Valley

Sidebar by Rayna Bailey

Media – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

As long-time Wet Mountain Valley cattle rancher Bet Kettle tells it, 30 years ago about the only radio programming locals picked up in the Westcliffe area was emergency relays, some weather warnings and limited news using short wave radios.

If you wanted to hear music your choices were to turn on the record player or sing to yourself. Unless, Kettle said, you were in the right spot and the weather cooperated then “we used to get a honky tonk western station out of Cañon City.”

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Custer County goes on the air with KWMV

Article by Rayna Bailey

Media – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

THEIR GOALS may not be as lofty as the behemoth AM radio station to the north, Denver’s “50,000-watt voice of the Rocky Mountain West,” but developers of the 100-watt radio station KWMV 95.9 FM hope to eventually be the voice of the Wet Mountain Valley.

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State parks face reduced hours

Brief by Central Staff

Recreation – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Perhaps Colorado is really two states: the real one we live in, and an imaginary one visible only to conservatives who operate on the national level.

The fictional Colorado has been described by White House political operator Karl Rove as a state whose finances are in “good shape.” Columnist George Will says Colorado is “economically vibrant,” and National Review says Bill Owens is “America’s best governor.”

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The power of the press

Brief by Central Staff

Patriot Act – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some Colorado bookstores had gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition, but the petition at the Book Mine in Leadville had only one signature until the Denver Post ran a front-page story on March 8.

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Sage grouse get habitat along Tomichi Creek

Brief by Central Staff

Wildlife – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Gunnison sage grouse, whose habitat and numbers have been shrinking, are getting a break, thanks to an agreement between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and two land owners.

The land owners are Dick Bratton, a Salida native who is now an attorney in Gunnison, and his son-in-law Tom Bradbury. They’re selling 458 acres along Tomichi Creek to the Bureau, and it will be managed by state Wildlife.

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Environmentalists sue over Black Canyon flows

Brief by Central Staff

Water – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

An agreement reached last year on river flows through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison has been challenged in federal court.

The agreement was between the U.S. Department of the Interior and the State of Colorado. It provided for a guaranteed minimum year-round flow of 300 cubic feet per second, with peak flows in wet years of 10,000 cfs or more.

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Aurora makes deal to pump more water from the Arkansas

Brief by Central Staff

Water – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Aurora will be getting more water from the Arkansas River this summer, thanks to a leasing arrangement with farmers east of Pueblo. This is the first such arrangement under a new state law, passed last year in response to the drought.

The new law allows agricultural users to lease their water to municipal users, without losing their water rights. Previously, the transfer would have required a “change of use” procedure in water court and a sale of the water rights to the city.

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Regional Round-up

Brief by Martha Quillen

Regional News – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Harassment Laws

Now that spring has almost sprung, the Department of Wildlife is reminding Coloradans that it’s illegal for dogs to harass wildlife, and the fine is $274. In addition, an officer can legally capture or kill a dog caught chasing wildlife and pet owners can be billed for any big game injuries or deaths caused by dogs. Game animals are valued at $500 for a deer, $700 for an elk, and $1,000 for a bighorn sheep.

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Colorado gets an official state rock

Brief by Central Staff

State Symbols – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine –

Colorado already had an official state mineral (Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine near Alma) and an official state gemstone (Aquamarine from Mt. Antero west of Nathrop), and it now has an official state rock: Yule Marble from the quarry in Gunnison County.

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One way to campaign on family values

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado Republicans may not be able to campaign hard on “family values” this year, because there’s one Democratic family that is really in the running: the Salazars of the San Luis Valley.

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Photon bombardments cause Leadville complaints

Brief by Allen Best

Light Pollution – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Even at nearly two miles high in the Rockies, the Milky Way is getting blotted out by so-called “security” lights. That’s the report from one man in Leadville, elevation 10,182 feet, who is calling for a law mandating “smart illumination” to preserve the night sky.

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Who’s got the highest seat?

Brief by Central Staff

Elevations – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Of all publications, you’d think that one called Mountain Gazette would know better. But there it was on page 8 of a recent edition (No. 101) in a piece by the editor, M. John Fayhee:

“Fairplay is the county seat of Park County (at just under 10,000 feet it’s the highest county seat in the nation), and it is located …”

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Future Water Woes

We’ll be dry unless we rehab and restore rivers and water storage in the coming decades, say representatives from SWSI. The Statewide Water Supply Initiative said an increasing population will create critical water problems within the next 25 years. Increasing surface and underground storage and rehabbing rivers for better flow are essential steps in protecting the future of the Valley.

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Baca Ranch sale for Sand Dunes closer to completion

Brief by Central Staff

Sand Dunes – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some stories have more twists than a soap opera, and the sale of the Baca Ranch to the National Park Service is one of them. The Baca Ranch, about 100,000 acres, sits in eastern Saguache County between Moffat and the crest of the Sangre de Cristo Range, just north of Great Sand Dunes National Monument.

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Not just a bad air day

Essay by Dennis Hinkamp

Environment – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

LOGAN, IN NORTHERN UTAH, doesn’t make too many national headlines, but in January it set a dubious record for the worst air quality in the country. The airborne microscopic particles registered higher than that of a city next to a raging forest fire.

The official record of 180 for PM-2.5 air pollution* was subsequently called into question because of measuring differences, but even the revised level was twice what the EPA defines as “unhealthy.” It also remained the highest in the nation for that day.

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Western Water Report: April 2, 2004

EXPERTS SAY COLORADO FACING WATER CRISIS OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS

Not one major reservoir or dam has been built in the state in the 40 years [hogwash!] since “water buffaloes,” men with the political power to broker deals and ride roughshod over communities to get water projects completed, roamed the state. 3/14 <http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~23447~2016430,00.html>

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