Just say No to driving for every little thing

Essay by Alan Kesselheim

Transportation – May 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

I ‘VE BEEN MARKING DAYS off the calendar with a black X, like a prisoner might in a jail cell. Only I’m not counting down a sentence, I’m celebrating days of liberation. Liberation from the alarming gas pump, from town traffic, from sedentary, bad-posture travel. X marks the days I don’t drive at all. Days I never turn the car key in the ignition.

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It’s that crazy time of year

Column by Hal Walter

Mountain Life – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

I NEVER SAW the horseshoe puzzle flying toward me as I sat reading the Wet Mountain Tribune in my living room. But I sure felt it when it struck me in the temple, causing a momentary blackout and a small but steady ooze of blood.

What’s a horseshoe puzzle? Well, it is two 0-pony size steel horseshoes welded to two pieces of link chain strung through a metal ring. The game is to remove the ring.

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Meet the Fiber Floozies

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local Arts – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHERE DO KNITTING, crocheting, good works, and good talk converge? The Fiber Floozies of Alamosa.

“I love the club for the gab sessions,” said Nora Gengo, who was working on a scarf for a neighbor’s daughter. “We talk about yarns and projects, and we exchange helpful hints that you don’t read in magazines.”

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The Stupid Economy

Column by George Sibley

Economy – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

“It’s the economy, stupid!” James Carville hung that statement in Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign headquarters to remind everyone what the election was all about, and it’s now emerging again as the message from us voters to those competing to be leaders of the flock. But today, I think I would use a variation on Carville’s statement:

It’s the stupid economy!

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Baca residents fight drilling in wildlife refuge

Article by Eric Karlstrom

Energy – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

I have always told people that the San Luis Valley is more than a home to me. It is a spiritual place unlike any other on earth.

Senator Ken Salazar

The San Luis Valley is a special place, a national treasure, bounded on the east by the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Range and on the west by the San Juan Mountains. The Valley is home to the highest sand dunes in North America, and to the adjoining Baca National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR), and to some of the oldest archaeological sites in North America, dating back some 11,500 years. Today more than 20 spiritual groups, representing a variety of religious traditions, have retreat centers in the Crestone area. And if anything unites the diverse Crestone/Baca community of about 1500, it is a shared commitment to living sustainably and preserving the natural beauty of this unique place.

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Seven-Year Itch

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Road Trip – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine


Cheez Louise, Ed,

If anybody ever doubted your proletarian credentials you have at least proved yourself to be a glutton for punishment by giving in to those two quagmires, the caucuses and the motherboards. We’ll take your word that there’s a meaningful relationship to democracy and progress, and hope those mothers don’t nail you for child support. Wouldn’t you rather have a staff of unreliable humans to raid your fridge, do substances in your backyard, trample your flowers, and whine about paychecks?

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Closings for homeland security

Letter from Roger Williams

Security – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine


Regarding your usual interesting issue [March, 2008]: P. 7, “War on terrorism…”: I’ve seen cars driving over Dillon Dam, but I’ve never been over it myself; I didn’t know it was closed.

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Some kind words

Letter from Bill Eichelberger

Colorado Central – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Hi Ed & Martha–

You may be “too big for a hobby, too small for a full-time business” but I am glad you are still printing Colorado Central. The March issue is the first place I have heard of the idiotic closing of the Dam Road, which we enjoy partly because we have placed a geocache named “Old Dillon Reservoir” on the hill north of that road. I hope the trailhead is still accessible from the west. Go to www.geocaching.com to find where this cache is and to learn more about geocaching.

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Our representative at work

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

We’re all for congressmen staying in touch with their constituents. That’s why they have a “franking privilege,” which allows them to send mail at public expense.

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Regional Water Update

Article by John Orr

Water – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

San Luis Valley Water News

Climate change and its possible effects on local water supplies were the topic at a recent meeting of the Rio Grande Roundtable. Scientists still can’t predict how global warming will impact local conditions, but featured speaker, Jason Vogel from Stratus Consulting in Boulder, said earlier snowmelt peak flows are expected. And that will influence how water supplies are managed, including the timing for drawing down and filling reservoirs, and flood control considerations.

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The fragility of hope

Essay by Martha Quillen

Politics – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

PEOPLE WHO HOPE may be audacious. But hope itself is fragile. Or as Shakespeare put it:

This is the state of man: today he puts forth

The tender leaves of hopes; tomorrow blossoms,

And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;

The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;

And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely

His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,

And then he falls….

And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,

Never to hope again.

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Independent in all things, neutral in none

Article by George Sibley

Local History – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

NEWSPAPERS IN THE Upper Gunnison Valley compose a topic that has long interested me, perhaps because I had a brief career as a newspaper publisher in the valley, up in Crested Butte, close to forty years ago; and I was not just the publisher, I was also the managing editor, copy editor, main reporter, compositor and janitor for one of the smallest papers in an illustrious history of small newspapers.

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Sand Dunes Park issues new dog rules

Brief by Central Staff

Recreation – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The wilderness portions of Great Sand dunes National Park are now closed to dogs, but leashed pets are still allowed in the parts of the park where most visitors go.

Leashed dogs are allowed in the main dunes area near the parking lot, and upstream along Medano Creek to Castle Creek, as well as in campgrounds, parking lots, Medano Pass, and the Old Liberty Road Corridor.

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Regional Roundup

Brief by Ed Quillen

Local News – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

County Emergencies

Both Park and Lake counties have declared emergencies this year. Lake County’s came about on account of potentially toxic water backed up behind a spill in the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel. The tunnel’s owner, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has responded by pumping water from the Gaw shaft to reduce the pressure until a bigger pump can be installed, along with plumbing to take the water to the treatment plant.

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Fraser has lost claim to “Nation’s Icebox”

Brief by Allen Best

Mountain Towns – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Will Fraser, where a sign in the middle of town proclaims it as “the icebox of the nation,” have to cross-out the “nation” and replace it with “Colorado?”

That’s among the possible outcomes after International Falls, Minn., was given a certification from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for that title.

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Tin Cup Historian dies at 88

Brief by Central Staff

Local History – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Eleanor Perry Herrington, author of several books about Tin Cup and Taylor Park, and an occasional contributor to Colorado Central, died on March 11 in Denver. She was 88.

Originally from Vermont, she and her first husband, Maurice Perry, moved to Denver in 1943. In the fall of 1951, they used their home as a down payment on the primitive Tin Cup resort in the old mining camp — a dozen cabins without electricity, running water, or telephones — and moved there with their two sons.

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He survived combat, but not shoveling snow

Brief by Allen Best

Mountain Life – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The supreme irony was immediately evident. Eric O’Hara had survived combat for 15 months in both Afghanistan and Iraq only to suffer a violent death a month later in what is an essentially bucolic setting near the Steamboat ski area. He fell to his death six floors from the roof of the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel while shoveling snow.

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Creede seeks limited help from EPA

Brief by Central Staff

Environment – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

To put it mildly, the Environmental Protection Agency made itself less than popular when it started cleaning up around Leadville years ago. That may explain why Creede wants some help from the EPA — but with strict limits on where the EPA works.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine


It’s a win-for-now for opponents of Wolf Creek Village. A court settlement requires the U.S. Forest Service to redo the environmental impact statement. The agency will do the new EIS itself, instead of outsourcing, like last time.

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Singing a song of the river

Brief by Central Staff

Arkansas River – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The mess at the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel has inspired a lot of talk, and now there’s a song: “Save the Arkansas,” written and recorded by folksinger Gabrielle Louise. At press time, it could be downloaded in mp3 format from savethearkansasriver.org

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Cotter won’t process radioactive waste

Brief by Central Staff

Uranium – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Cotter Corporation, which owns Colorado’s only uranium mill in Cañon City, has abandoned a plan to process radioactive material from New Jersey. In 2002, the company received a contract to handle 470,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste to be transported from the Maywood Superfund Site.

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Life is punny sometimes, but setting goats can help

Column by John Mattingly

Modern Life – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

A recent ad in a Boulder paper read:


Must be self-starter, highly motivated, and goat-oriented.

Because I husbanded a good number of goats in the past, and because I take a Horny Goat Weed pill on occasion to charge my batteries, I suspected I might be among a small group of fully qualified people for the position.

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