Mud Season brings road issue to surface

Column by Hal Walter

Local Roads – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE WINTER FROM HELL has become the mud season from hell. It’s been reported that a neighbor yanked the front end off another vehicle trying to pull it out of the mud.

I tend to believe this story, considering that the last 100 yards of my road is a veritable quagmire. My truck sinks nearly to the hubs if I try to drive out of here in the mid-afternoon. It spins in the goo and just inches its way along until it hits dry ground. We don’t even attempt this in the Subaru for fear the car and its occupants may never be seen again.

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Comments on commentators

Essay by Deric Pamp

Media – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

CHAFFEE COUNTY was, in the not-so-distant past, a Republican stronghold, but today, all three county commissioners and most other elected officials are Democrats. I think an official’s party affiliation is his or her least important attribute, but the partisan nature of national and state politics resonates here: to many voters, a candidate’s party registration is of great importance. One of the Democratic county commissioners recently admitted to illegal acts in his leisure time, and I expect that local Republicans may do more than simply complain. How partisan the voters of Chaffee County are, or have become, may be tested.

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People Say lyrics

Sidebar by Robin James

Poetry – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

People Say

Words and music by Robin James

People said, that people change

And nothing ever stays the same

And people said that we would not last

That we’d fall to pieces like broken glass

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Hometown Faces lyrics

Sidebar by Dianne James

Local Artist – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Hometown Faces

Words and music by Dianne James

There’s always part of me, left lingering behind.

Always part of that place, etched into my mind.

But dreamers find it very hard to stay,

To be tied down in time.

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Robin James: Singing life to the fullest

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local Artists – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

SINGER ROBIN JAMES is a busy young woman. She just began a new career as a journalist, covering events in Del Norte, South Fork and Creede for their respective weekly newspapers. She’s also promoting her new CD, “People Say,” arranging performance dates, writing songs, learning instruments, and, oh yeah, preparing for her August wedding.

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Joseph Lamb Sources

Sidebar by Kenneth Jessen

Local History – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine


Lamb, Frank R. The Pioneer Story of Joseph Milton Lamb. Self-published by the Lamb family, date unknown.

Jessen, Ken Colorado Gunsmoke, J.V. Publications, 1986

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Pioneer Joseph Lamb hunted Texas steers and serial killers

Article by Kenneth Jessen

Local History – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

JOSEPH MILTON LAMB came to Central Colorado to search for gold, but before he turned thirty he was hunting for something far more dangerous: Colorado’s worst serial killers.

At the tender age of twenty-three, Joseph Lamb traveled by oxcart caravan to Denver to join other “’59ers” eager to strike it rich at Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, and Joseph Lamb and a small group of men were among the first gold seekers to arrive at California Gulch, south of the future City of Leadville. There he learned how to pan for gold and locate good claims. But after the placer gold was exhausted, he moved on to other trades.

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The nagging issue of subsidies

Column by John Mattingly

Agriculture – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

IN THE YEARS I’VE FARMED and been around ranchers, I’ve noticed the general public is often irked, or at least confused, by agricultural subsidies. Perhaps because farmers and ranchers are most often heard championing hard work while criticizing the welfare system, it’s hard to reconcile the appearance of those same folks on the list of subsidy recipients available to the public at However, when subsidies are viewed in the context of our full U.S. economy, the facts — as well as the full roster of beneficiaries — are surprising.

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Life after shopping II

Column by George Sibley

Modern Life – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

IS THE FUTURE going to be any fun? Exploring that question last month, I basically ran out of space thinking about what viable alternatives there are for a consumer culture whose “lifestyles” are primarily based on the profligate consumption of finite resources.

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Walking the Talk

Essay by Ed Quillen

Environment – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

TO WHAT DEGREE should we expect people to “walk their talk?” This question popped up again recently in respect to two out-of-office politicians: Al Gore, former vice-president of the United States, and Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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Not exactly leftists

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Politics – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine


There will always be a few Wonder Bread fanatics out there who think whole wheat is a communist plot, and the Salida City Council must have had these in mind when it expressed fears that KHEN-FM community radio might be

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GOP candidate will need to pretend Bush never existed

Letter from Laird Campbell

Politics – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine


The Republican nominee for president in 2008 will have no choice but to pretend that George W. Bush never existed. He will be in the same position as Hubert Humphrey nominated by the Democrats when Lyndon Johnson and his war were equally unpopular. (I use “he” advisedly since there are members of the Republican party who believe that women’s place is in the home and who may still have some reservations about giving them the vote.)

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Felt like screaming

Letter from Laurae Essman

Diction – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha:

First an apology for being way behind on issues of Colorado Central which I sincerely enjoy reading. I just finished the February issue, and despite the fact that we are leaving town for three weeks, I had to sit down and express my opinion on your review of The Vote by Sybil Downing.

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Woody Weeds: The shrub forest of our high desert

Article by Susan Tweit

Local Botany – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

DRIVE U.S. HIGHWAY 50 west from Salida, or take U.S. 285 the length of the San Luis Valley, and you’ll traverse mile after mile of seemingly mind- numbing high-desert shrubland. Aside from the mountains, the occasional towns, ranches, and farms, and the threads of forest edging streams and rivers, the landscape is a sea of shrubs: sagebrush on deeper, fertile soils, chamisa where sand dominates, and chico and fourwing saltbush where salts whiten the surface.

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Regional Roundup

Brief by Martha Quillen

Local News – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Undercover Operation Outed

Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte was shocked into action after reading the Leadville Herald Democrat on February 21. It wasn’t a fascinating front page article that jolted him; it was the required legal notice listing county expenditures, including payment of salaries and services. There, in the newspaper listed with the sheriff’s deputies for the edification of anyone who cared to look, was the name of his department’s undercover drug informant.

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Water conference season starts

Brief by Central Staff

Water – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

It may be too early to start watering your lawn, but it is time to start thinking about water — or at least, water conferences, with two gatherings scheduled in the near future, one in Rocky Ford and the other in Gunnison.

The annual Arkansas River Basin Water Forum runs April 12 and 13 in Rocky Ford, where Gov. Bill Ritter and Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs are featured speakers.

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Resort wages high, but still can’t keep up

Brief by Allen Best

Mountain Economy – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Teachers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this year got a whopping increase in salaries. Starting salaries are now at $50,000, nearly double what they were. Average increases were 32 percent.

The intent was to give teachers enough money to allow them to buy single-family homes, reducing the turnover in the school district.

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Minnesota lapse enables Fraser to reclaim Icebox title

Brief by Allen Best

Colorado Lore – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

The story appears to be all over except the shouting … or is it shivering? Fraser insists it won’t surrender the title of “Icebox of the Nation,” a nickname it began using in 1956. But International Falls, Minn., says it got the trademark for the name in 1986 and wants it back.

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The big wind of 2007

Brief by Allen Best

Weather – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

The big wind story of Washington’s Birthday Weekend of 2007 is likely to be told well into the future. The wind that weekend shut down ski lifts from Aspen to Winter Park and on to Steamboat Springs. Winds also closed many highways, and made those that remained open extremely hazardous.

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Properly answering the call of nature

Brief by Central Staff

Recreation – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

When nature calls and you’re out in nature, how should you respond? The Colorado Fourteener Initiative, which works to minimize human impacts on our popular highest mountains, offered some advice in a recent newsletter.

We’ll be tasteful here and start with solid matter. Below timberline, dig a “cathole” about four to six inches deep in organic soil, rather than sandy or mineral soil. After you’re done, refill the hole with soil and debris, and your deposit will break down.

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Colorado Trail will get new route by Clear Creek this summer

Brief by Central Staff

Recreation – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Colorado Trail hereabouts will see a lot of work this summer as it gets a new route in the Clear Creek drainage.

This isn’t the better-known Clear Creek that flows through Idaho Springs and Golden, but a shorter Clear Creek which originates between 14,000-foot peaks in Chaffee County and joins the Arkansas River above Granite. This one boasts two ghost towns, Vicksburg and Winfield, and near its mouth is a reservoir that helps supply Pueblo with water.

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Granite loses post office, but will still be an address

Brief by Central Staff

Local Lore – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Granite, which sits along the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Leadville, no longer has a post office. But residents there can still get mail at Granite addresses — street addresses, though, rather than post-office boxes.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Saving $$$

Alamosa will consolidate its library with the parks & rec department. The two will be run by Heinz Bergann, who’s been the library director since 2003. Emily Johnson will become the go-to person for everyday stuff at the library. The move will save $10K-$20K a year in salary and hopefully revive the rec center, which suffers from a negative public image.

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Rocky Mountain High where the Columbines Grow

Brief by Central Staff

Colorado Heraldry – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado now has two official state songs. The new one, adopted by a legislative resolution in March, is “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver. The old one, “Where the Columbines Grow,” was written in 1915 by A.J. Fynn (not Flynn, though it’s often misspelled that way).

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Lessons in Making-Do from a contrarian nonagenarion

Essay by Alexa Mergen

Environment – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

MY LATE GRANDMOTHER, Helen, was a lifelong Republican who, along with her sheep-ranching sister, bristled at the Endangered Species Act, both shaking their heads when they talked about tortoises getting more rights than people. In spite of cancer running through the family like uranium ore in the ground, my great-uncle mined uranium to keep the ranch out of hock, and Helen liked to say that atomic testing had to happen somewhere, and well, the desert has a lot of open space.

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Western Water Report: April 2, 2007


A working group made up of Genesis Gas and Oil officials and local and federal officials has designed a plan to direct Genesis’ drilling operations in the Grand Junction and Palisade municipal watersheds, and the plan is set to be released for public comment on April 2. Grand Junction Sentinel; March 7 link

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