The Power of Outages

Column by Hal Walter

Mountain Life -March 2006 -Colorado Central Magazine

There’s a certain sensory commotion when the power goes out, a simultaneous loss of light and sound followed by the whir of kitchen appliances coming to a stop. When you’ve lived in the mountains for any length of time, there’s also a certain automatic course of action –the initial cursing, followed by a scramble to fill every available container with drinking water before the well’s pressure tank loses force, then the search for flashlights, candles, campstove, etc.

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Wolfe repellant?

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Mountain Barbies – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado Central:

I enjoyed the article about local women who are not slaves to fashion. [“The Annual Invasion of the Mountain Barbies” in the February edition.] One might add that many local women also pointedly do not suffer from damsel- in- distress syndrome. Real men (ahem) don’t desire companions who think it’s beneath them to carry a bit of firewood or help stucco the addition, any more than real women want men who are too helpless to fix their own buttons or stir up the pancake batter. This personal sufficiency improves the all- around climate — like fresh air or a pleasant vista.

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Some answers

Letter from Tim Kregel

English Usage -March 2006 -Colorado Central Magazine


In the February edition, Roger Williams of Boulder asked a couple of questions about my piece (“The Winter Crossing of Chalk Creek Pass”) in the January edition. I have some answers:

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From the Apostrophe Posse

Letter from Peter Bulkeley

English Usage – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine


I say “Amen” to Lynda’s criticisms of the grammar errors she pointed out in her review in the February issue. I sent you a letter last spring regarding some editing errors, especially misuse of apostrophes. For those individuals who think pointing out these errors is nit- picking, I say “Shame on you.” We all took high school English, which, if we’d spent half as much time learning as we did avoiding learning, would have made us proficient enough in our language usage that these errors would hardly ever appear.

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Off the Beaten Path

Letter from Kenneth Jessen

Cotton Creek – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

I love those out-of-the-way places such as the Mirage Cemetery in the San Luis Valley. John Mattingly brings interesting information about this little-known place in the February 2006 issue of Colorado Central Magazine.

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The Sibley factor

Letter from Bob Cross, George Sibley

Sibleys in History – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine


I thoroughly enjoyed your treatment of Capt. Pike’s journey [in the February edition]. Thank you for reminding me about the Red River Expedition of 1805. The mention of Peter Custis reminded me that he was a distant relative of George Washington and Robert E. Lee.

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Riding the rails over La Veta Pass

Article by Ed Quillen

Transportation – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

What was billed as the first passenger train since 1953 pulled out of Alamosa on the sunny morning of Feb. 9, 2006, eastbound for the town of La Veta, 61.4 miles away on the other side of the Sangre de Cristo range. The train had two diesel locomotives and only one car, the Caritas: a renovated 1948 Pullman with four private compartments, a comfortable lounge with snack service, and a rear platform where you could stand and watch the countryside recede.

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A rural area struggles against some big money

Essay by Elaine Foster

Christo Project -March 2006 -Colorado Central Magazine

Residents of rural Frémont County are waging a fight against the big money people of the Christo Over the River Project. The European couple, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have secured fame and fortune by wrapping islands, bridges and buildings in plastic and fabric, and are now petitioning government agencies in Colorado for the necessary permits to stretch steel cables and fabric over the beautiful Arkansas River.

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‘Over the River’ helps our neighbors

Essay by Deric Pamp

Christo Project – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

It was cold again this morning, the temperature at zero and a brisk wind ruffling the rabbit brush. I had made excuses to the dogs yesterday, explaining how cold it was and how they really would not be happy out there. Today they sat around me in a half circle as I drank coffee, clearly unwilling to brook any more nonsense about cold from one who wore shoes and could insulate the rest of his pelt. So I wrapped up, put on my favorite old knit wool hat, and took the dogs out to the truck. Their joy was loud, energetic and complete. As we skidded down the driveway, they were already barking at a horse, three fields over and half a mile away.

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The Sparrows will alight in Salida

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Poetry – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

In the immortal words of the Beach Boys, Central Colorado will be “pickin’ up good vibrations,” both auditory and emotional, when Sparrows, Colorado’s annual performance poetry festival, takes wing again March 2- 5, 2006.

Since 2001, Sparrows has been bringing poets and musicians from throughout Colorado and the West to Salida for a series of poetry- related workshops, evening performances, and public “open- mike” sessions designed to appeal to everyone who loves words — both the written and (especially) the spoken variety.

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With property, wealth & water

Column by George Sibley

John Locke -March 2006 -Colorado Central Magazine

At Western’s Water Workshop last summer, Justice Greg Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court, dropped what struck me then, and still strikes me, as a bombshell. Where water in the West is concerned, he said, “we are no longer developing a resource; we are learning to share a developed resource.”

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The legacy of Camp Hale’s mountain soldiers

Article by Chas S. Clifton

Military History – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

In Tucson, Arizona, a home mechanic searches for an authentic replacement gauge for his M29 Weasel, a small, tracked cargo hauler from World War II, designed for traveling on the snow.

On Tennessee Pass, several generations of family, friends, and passers- by gather around a small group of elderly men in ski parkas.

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Over the River: Dream or Nightmare?

Essay by Martha Quillen

Christo Project -March 2006 -Colorado Central Magazine

In case anyone hasn’t guessed, I’ve always liked writing research papers. Thus somewhere along the line I started approaching my Letters From the Editors like research projects. I would think of a topic, look it up on the Internet, go to the library and find some books about it, then read more articles, until finally I’d try to knit everything together into an essay, which generally had a couple of news stories and a book review or two stitched in. But this is the 21st century. Readers don’t have time for that. And I don’t have time for it, either.

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Regional roundup

Brief by Ed Quillen

Local News – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Boilers behaving badly

Even though Leadville operates the highest school system in the United States, and there are winters when the Cloud City gets plenty of snow, its schools have never closed on account of snow.

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The story behind the sign

Brief by Central Staff

Wildlife – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Colorado Division of Wildlife wants you to wash your gear after you’ve been in the river. The purpose is not sanitation, but preventing the spread of an alien invertebrate — the New Zealand mud snail.

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Hearings planned for Old Spanish Trail

Brief by Central Staff

History – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Old Spanish Trail, which connected Santa F to Los Angeles, became part of the National Historic Trails System in 2002, and now the National Park Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are developing a management plan for 2,700 miles of dispersed routes.

The trail’s main route cut across the southwest corner of Colorado in the Durango area. However, it also had a north branch which ascended the San Luis Valley to the Saguache area, where it swung west to cross Cochetopa Pass and continue to rejoin the main route at Green River, Utah.

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Why not double-nesters?

Brief by Allen Best

Housing Trends – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ski town newspapers are rife with stories about second- home owners or, to use the grammatical solecism, second homeowners. Either way, a primary is asserted when, in fact, the distinction is blurring. Owners are spending as much time in one home as the other.

A headline for a story in the New York Times about this blurring phenomenon suggests a different, more neutral phrase: double nesters. And another word: splitters.

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Gunnison county may rein in wood-burers

Brief by Allen Best

Environment – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Gunnison County is revisiting the issue of air pollution from fireplaces in unincorporated areas.

Like Vail, Aspen, and many towns in more developed areas, the towns of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte require fireplaces and woodburning stoves that meet Environmental Protection Agency standards to minimize emissions. Gunnison County almost went the same route in 2003, but instead gave wood- burners the option of paying $1,000 in lieu of installing stoves that pollute less.

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Phelps-Dodge sells Mt. Emmons, no word on Climax

Brief by Central Staff

Mining -March 2006 -Colorado Central Magazine

Phelps-Dodge, the company that owns the mothballed Climax Molybdenum Mine a dozen miles north of Leadville, still hasn’t announced the results of a consultant’s study it commissioned in 2005 to determine whether to re-open the mine.

The price for molybdenum, a metallic element used as a lubricant and to harden steel, remains high –about $25 a pound at press time, a little under what it was a year ago. But no one knows how long that will last, and the company doesn’t want to spend millions to get the mine running again, only to close it quickly because the moly price has dropped below production costs.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Water Wary

It’s gonna be another dry year in El Valle. While the northern part of the Western Slope is buried in white stuff, the Rio Grande Basin is still well below normal for snowpack — less than 50 percent. The Alamosa- Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is planning for a dry year, according to manager Mike Blenden. In addition, Ray Wright, president of the board of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District is asking irrigators to cut groundwater usage by 50 percent.

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A dozen years and counting

Brief by Central Staff

Colorado Central – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

With this edition, Colorado Central celebrates its 12th birthday; the first edition was dated March, 1994.

It was “The monthly magazine for survivors of cabin fever.” In the trade, that’s known as a “tagline,” and our thought was that most magazines have taglines, so we should too. But we never could decide on one to use all the time, so we change it every month (although, when we looked back on the 10th birthday, we discovered that we had repeated a couple of them). Suggestions are always welcome.

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These are cowboys?

Essay by Dennis Hinkamp

Brokeback Mountain – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The movie Brokeback Mountain moved slowly through film festivals, winning raves, then on to limited release, and now it’s up for a pile of Oscars and is making wannabe Westerners think twice about wearing that Stetson.

In Salt Lake City, theater-owner Larry Miller ramped up the rhetoric by canceling a showing at one of his venues. Miller owns large chunks of the Salt Lake City economy, including the Utah Jazz basketball team, a community college campus, a throng of Honda and Toyota dealerships, and assorted entertainment spots from theaters to automobile racetracks. It’s no secret he made up his mind about the movie early on.

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Chi Haus Haus?

Letter from Suzanne Macdonald

English Usage – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine


When I saw the cover I thought you might have an article about a

Chinese whorehouse with a German madam. Didn’t think we had anything like

that in Central Colorado, but anything is possible.

Suzanne MacDonald

Buena Vista

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Western Water Report: March 3, 2006


A retired Forest Service biologist uses the natural meanderings of waterways to help restore the ecological health of the land. <>


The Bureau of Land Management approved the sale of oil and gas leases on 12,000 acres in Colorado’s Mesa County, despite protests of municipal and county leaders who said the drilling would damage water supplies, but the BLM did say it will impose regulations that will protect the water. Denver Post; Feb. 8

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