A garden full of weeds

Column by Hal Walter

Gardening – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

THIS YEAR, for the first time in many, I’ve planted a garden. A good portion of the seeds I’ve planted here at 8,800 feet are actually near descendants of weeds.

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Crested Butte doesn’t sound worried

Sidebar by Allen Best

Mining – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s another example of a butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing affecting the weather in the Rocky Mountains. This year, those Beijing butterflies – often used as a metaphor to describe causality – are part of the reason why two old Colorado towns, Leadville and Crested Butte, could become mining towns once more.

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$30 Moly and the future of Climax

Article by Steve Voynick

Mining – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

EVERY TEN YEARS OR SO, the Climax Mine seems poised to rise from its ashes, hiring hundreds of miners, bringing the good times back to Leadville, and reclaiming some measure of its former glory as a major source of molybdenum. After circulating quietly for a year, new rumors went public on May 26 with a front-page article in Leadville’s Herald Democrat headlined: Is Climax Making a Comeback?

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Collecting artists in Twin Lakes

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Local Artists – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

SOME PEOPLE COLLECT ROCKS. Others accumulate coins or seashells or antique dolls. Sharon Downs “collects” artists–specifically Colorado artists whose work is featured at the High Country Treasures gallery in Twin Lakes.

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Water, Water everywhere, sort of, sometimes

Column by George Sibley

Water – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

WATER ON THE BRAIN these days – I’m trying to organize Western State College’s annual Water Workshop. It’s the 30th conference, so we’re trying to take a larger look at the whole 30-year period – mostly because, water-wise, it has been a really interesting period.

When Dick Bratton, a Gunnison water attorney (and Salida native), and Western historian Duane Vandenbusche held the first Water Workshop in 1976, a lot of things had not happened.

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A Central Attraction

Article by Martha Quillen

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

ED AND I WERE STANDING just off Main Street in Buena Vista, trying to saddle our not-so-trusty steed. But the fancy pack saddle we’d borrowed came with a confusing array of straps, buckles, and rings, and we had no idea what we were doing. Then a gunfight broke out half a block away. Someone shouted, a woman screamed. Shots sounded and reverberated. Three women with parasols cheered the gunmen on. And Virgil kicked and bolted.

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Monte Vista museum features transportation of the West

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local History – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

IF YOU’RE IN MONTE VISTA and looking to fill a half-hour or so after lunch or before an early movie, step into the new Transportation of the West museum. Located on the town’s main drag, the one-room showplace is a great way to get a quick view of regional mobility.

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Silver Cliff museum re-opens after five-year renovation

Article by Rayna Bailey

History – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

DESPITE ITS gold-painted wood siding and belfry complete with bell, the Silver Cliff Museum is a simple, unornamented building which reflects its original purpose: to serve as the town hall and firehouse. Located on Main Street in Silver Cliff, the historic two-story building was built in 1879, and is once again open to visitors — following a renovation project that took nearly five years and cost more than $176,000.

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Who can afford not to be a hypocrite?

Essay by Martha Quillen

Modern Life – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Last week, I read a feature that made me think Central Coloradans may be a little more savvy about some things than our neighbors. But on the other hand, even if we’re ahead on the learning curve, we’ve still got problems.

In his June/July issue, Jim Stiles, publisher of Moab’s Canyon Country Zephyr, lambasted the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA). Stiles, a former seasonal ranger at Arches National Park, is grass-green, himself, but he contends that his fellow environmentalists have sold out.

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Beer, barbecue, and transcendence in Crestone

Article by Peter Anderson

Mountain Life – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT THE RATIO of bars to churches could tell you something about a community. Having lived for seven years in Utah, I must admit I get a little uneasy when the bars are heavily outnumbered. That said, I have since come to settle in Crestone, a town full of spiritual communities — including a few churches (Baptist, Episcopalian, and Catholic) and more Buddhists (almost every variety) per capita than any other mountain town I know of. Until recently, there were no watering holes here, unless you count the Desert Sage Restaurant which, as the name suggests, is really more of a restaurant than it is a bar. A year or so ago, that changed.

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A day that could happen only in Central Colorado

Letter from Keith Gotschall

Livestock – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

The following email was sent to our daughter Columbine, who, as many of you may know, moved to Bend, Oregon, last fall. She forwarded it to us, and we were not only amused by the content, we were also convinced that this was a day that could only happen in Central Colorado, so we got permission to reprint it here.

Dear Columbine,

Today has been absolutely bizarre. Here’s how it started:

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Economic illusions and real-estate bubbles

Letter from Daniel G. Jennings

Rural Economies – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


The ongoing Real Estate Bubble exposes a very disturbing truth about America: All across our great nation real economies based upon the production of goods and services have been replaced by economic illusions rooted in hype, hysteria and speculation.

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Drillers want to work with surface owners

Letter from Jerry Mchugh Jr.

Surface Rights – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


After reading Representative Kathleen Curry’s letter in the June 2005 edition I wanted to weigh in regarding oil and gas companies’ use of surface for drilling and production operations. Rep. Curry has proposed surface use bills so that industry will be forced to negotiate agreements with surface owners BEFORE moving equipment in to drill.

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Great days with the bikers

Letter from Monty Holmes

Tourism – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


Well, there were thousands of bikers around this Valley on Memorial Day weekend, and we thank them for visiting! There were so many places (especially with 360º views from a motorcycle) of exceptional beauty, that they were spread out all over the area. And darn nice folks they were!

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Removing ‘Service’ from the IRS

Letter from David Larkin

Government – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

To the Editor:

There is a key document at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), where I work, that tells us how we are to do our jobs. It’s called the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) and this is what it says about Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) and the employees who work there: “The TAC program provides an opportunity to create a positive image for the IRS to the general public,” the manual says, adding: “You are the IRS to every taxpayer you assist, so it is especially important to be fair, patient and willing to listen to every taxpayer’s situation.”

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Ask and ye shall receive

Letter from Greg Hobbs

Colorado Central – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Editors,

You have welcomed more letters. I am sure after all the work you writers and editors do to shape up this magazine through the months and years, you like to hear what readers think.

I think the magazine is interesting, provoking, informative, and sometimes delightfullly zany. I always find something to enjoy.

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Regional Roundup

Brief by Ed Quillen

Regional News – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Faster Art?

Salida holds an Art Walk every year in June, giving visitors a chance to stroll around and see not just the artists’ work, but often, their workplaces. Generally, it draws such a good crowd that it’s impossible to go at a faster pace than a comfortable strolling walk.

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About those railroad posters

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s hard to walk more than a few yards in downtown Salida without seeing a store-window poster that says we should “Keep Steam Alive,” even though steam engines haven’t operated out of Salida since the Monarch Spur went to standard-gauge and diesel in 1956.

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Good year, but not great, for ski industry

Brief by Allen Best

Recreation – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

It was a good but not great year for Colorado ski areas. On one hand, the ski areas collectively posted 11.81 million skier days, the third biggest year on record. The record year was set 7 years before.

Also promising was the return of lucrative out-of-state destination visitors, whose ranks swelled by 7%. Notable was the 28% increase in international visitors. Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade group, said that the United Kingdom, the largest international market, produced 31% more skiers this past winter, while visits from Australia grew 25% and those from Latin America grew 16%.

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Berthoud Pass ski area closed and its lodge razed

Brief by Allen Best

Recreation – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

A lodge at one of Colorado’s first ski areas is no more. As ordered by the Forest Service, the 30,000-square-foot building at Berthoud Pass was reduced to rubble recently.

The ski area, one of Colorado’s oldest, opened in 1937, but has only operated sporadically since the mid-1980s and not at all since 2001.

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It’s too soon to celebrate end of drought

Brief by Allen Best

Climate – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Droughts are peculiar natural events. You known when a thunderstorm or earthquake starts and ends.

But you don’t know when a drought starts until a few months or years later (a dry month, or even a dry year, doesn’t necessarily mean a drought), and you’re never quite sure when one ends (a wet month or wet year could be an aberration).

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Briefs by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

High-Tech IDs

Three Alamosa liquor stores are the first in the country to test a new identification machine. The device stores a customer’s ID data and forefinger print, making it quick and easy for a regular to touch a screen and be verified as being of age. The machine is expensive, but not as expensive as a liquor license suspension.

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State gets to say which roadless areas will stay that way

Brief by Central Staff

Public Lands – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Bush Administration has started to reverse a Clinton Administration order that prohibited road construction in 58.5 million acres of roadless National Forest, but don’t expect any immediate construction.

The change affects about 4.4 million acres in Colorado. We couldn’t find detailed information about Central Colorado, but a general map showed some affected land in the Arkansas Hills, Wet Mountains, and Sawatch Range.

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Real Estate Lingo for the New Westerner

Essay by Linda M. Hasselstrom

Development – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

I’M A RANCHER, so almost every day some Realtor explains how much money I could make if I sold the ranch. Developers are subdividing pastures nearby, and soon, it’s true, I may not be able to afford ranching.

So, I’m studying up on the new real estate lingo and — in typical friendly Western fashion — offer this handy dictionary for prospective New West landowners. Words, it turns out, don’t always mean what they seem:

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Western Water Report: July 3, 2005


A three-day symposium at the University of Colorado on the Colorado River opened with a warning that critical shortages are possible within the next six years and that shared risk should inspire Western states to find new ways to manage the river. Denver Rocky Mountain News; June 9 <http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/state/article/0,1299,DRMN_21_3841643,00.html>

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