Coming to terms with the ‘A-word’

by Hal Walter

It was just a few days before Christmas and my son Harrison and I went to the Westcliffe post office to mail out the holiday cards. The post office is a fairly harmless place to let Harrison run around while I take care of business. The only way out is the front door and there’s very little trouble he can get into.

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Our windows are flung open

to air full of promiscuous arias

from feathered beings hopping

the leafless, monolithic, barked edges

when, a murder of crows swoop in

to steal the hanging, gooey suet,

then lift away, black and ragged,

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Have any hair-raising travel stories?

We’d like to start running a new feature in Colorado Central Magazine and we need your help!

All sorts of magazines and newspapers have travel sections – romantic descriptions of exotic locales, sun-splashed beaches, friendly natives, unique cuisines, etc. – but we don’t want to hear about those. It’s like having to sit through Uncle Bob’s hour-long slide presentation of his family trip to Disney World.

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Down on the Ground with “Capitalism” that worked

by George Sibley

“Capitalism” is one of those words that increasingly has gotten out of hand, in my opinion, much like “Christianity.” Just as we are expected to believe that “Christianity” has something to do with “Christ,” that gentle fellow who preached and practiced love, forgiveness, and judging not, we are expected to believe that “Capitalism” as practiced in America has something to do with “capital.”

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Hay Crew

By Ron Flannery

It was an arranged deal. Not that I was shanghaied, but at the time I was the third party to an agreement I was not fully aware of. It started innocently enough. My parents and I were returning from a fishing trip to Gunnison, Colorado. We stopped for just a friendly visit at my Dad’s friend’s ranch outside of Saguache to say hello. It’s helpful to know that Saguache, located at the north end of the San Luis Valley, is not the garden spot of the west. Anyhow, I had no clue to ulterior motives on my Dad’s part. He may have felt my life as a sixteen-year old city boy in Pueblo was lacking some qualities.

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The Villa Grove Trade

34094 U S Hwy 285
Villa Grove, CO 81155

Above and beyond your standard burger fare, the Villa Grove Trade & Café is a favorite for locals and travelers passing through the San Luis Valley. Located right off Hwy. 285 in the tiny hamlet of Villa Grove, “the Trade” is the heart of this small, yet diverse, community. It’s where the men gather for “Ranching 101” and brewed coffee talk every morning, while telecommuters hook up their laptops to the high speed internet access and sip their espressos and lattes.

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A Farmer Far Afield

John Mattingly

We’ve heard a lot recently about Peak Oil, Peak Phosphorus, and even Peak Zinc. According to a Wall Street Journal article last fall, the smart money is investing in zinc (anybody know a good zinc company?). But seldom do we hear about the decline in the U. S. farmer population, a demographic reality that can be legitimately called “Peak Farmer.”

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Out of the Nest and into a Tent

by Allison Linville

I don’t have a house. It wasn’t lost to foreclosure or auctioned by the bank; I have simply never owned one. As a recent college graduate, I am just now learning to pay rent, utilities and my gym membership every month, while trying to find a job that will cover my medical expenses if I wreck my car again.

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SLV Briefs – March 2009

by Marcia Darnell

Two students at Alamosa High School protested the school’s lack of recognition of Martin Luther King Day by skipping classes and waving a sign at passersby.  Their activism might have carried more punch if the sign didn’t read, “Remeber Dr. King.” The misspelling made it clear they needed more time in school.
Another man’s plan ricocheted when Jesse Sloan escaped from the Dept. of Corrections and stupidly went home to Fort Garland, where a SWAT team was waiting for him. No one was hurt in the re-capture.

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News from the San Luis Valley

Governor, new Senator visit Alamosa

by Marcia Darnell

ALAMOSA – It is a rare event that draws 150 small town residents to see and hear a couple of politicians on a weekday afternoon. But concern over losing a hometown hero in the U.S. Senate looms large, so the meeting room in Alamosa was standing room only.

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Regional News Roundup – March 2009

Colorado DOC proposes property sale

BUENA VISTA- Citing current economic conditions, the Colorado Department of Correctional Facilities is putting up for sale 1,000 acres of land near the Buena Vista Correctional Facility including 640 acre feet which have an estimated value of $1,500,000 to $3,000,000.

The property was bought in parcels in the 1930’s and deeded to DOC in 1978. Since owning the property, DOC has used it for growing hay.

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Executive Order 9066: Misdirected Exercise of War Powers

By Kenneth Jessen

They had committed no crime, yet 110,000 of them were forced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to leave their West Coast homes and move to concentration camps scattered throughout the West, including Colorado. There they would remain, held behind barbed wire, treated like criminals, and guarded by military police. They were singled out because of their physical characteristics, as well as their ancestry with America’s new enemy, the Japanese. One of the smallest of these camps was located in southeastern Colorado, officially called the Granada Relocation Center and locally known as Camp Amache.

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Mindfulness around the woodstove: Cooking our lives

by Mark Minor

Three years ago, at age 98, my house received a new heart. Judging from the evidence, its last heart was removed some time in the 1940’s. That heart used to be warm, the center of life and activity and sustenance. It was fed daily, cleaned, and loved. And I’m sure it gave back, in wonderful meals for its people.

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Quillen’s Corner – March 2009

Although I have been pulled over a few times in the past dozen years, no traffic tickets have resulted from these meetings with the constabulary. Thus I have been able to renew my driver’s license by mail, without the hassle of taking the test to determine whether I still know the rules of the road.

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Course Correction

To the Editor:

Try as I might I can’t seem to find this crisis that everyone seems to be raving about. From the President to the economists to the newscasters, the talk is all about some global recession, as if the sky were falling, but it all looks to me like some higher power finally decided to put the planet on a crash diet to get rid of all the flab that’s been burdening our collective health and well-being. It’s about time we retooled our existence to get along with fewer new car sales, and learned how to live with our obsolescent washing machines and DVD players. Time to quit behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats who require mindless manufacture of non-essential goods, hastening the exhaustion of the world’s diminishing space and resources.

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Road Rage


Two items in the February issue caught my eye. ?The first one was the side bar on county road numbers and the reference to the Fremont County system. ?The other was the article about the Alma, Granby, and Aspen “rampage”.

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Another Country Heard From

Dear Ed,
I must admit I read the Letter from the Editors in the February issue of Colorado Central with mixed emotions. Initially I was sad that you and Martha wouldn’t be directly involved in the excellent publication. However, after I thought about it for awhile longer I felt glad for the two of you that you’ll be able to pursue the many things you had to let slide.

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Pressure’s on, new guy!

Hi Ed and Martha,

I was surprised to read, way back on page 23 of your February issue, that you are turning Colorado Central over to new management. As a charter subscriber, and one of the people who say “Well, we sure needed the moisture” whenever it snows, I hope that Mike Rosso can keep it interesting.

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Congrats and Kudos

Ed and Martha,

Congratulations on your 15-year run as owners and publishers of  Colorado Central, one of my favorite periodicals. Each month when it comes in the mail, it is like Christmas morning as a kid. I always look forward to diving in and discovering what new and interesting things I will learn about my neighbors and my home.

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Auld Lang Syne

Ed and Martha,

Gee whiz, I read my new issue today, most of it, and there’s your announcement.
I am really sorry you are done with this, but I sure don’t blame you one bit and I’m happy you have a good guy as new owner. I hope he doesn’t change stuff too extremely, or at least will do in stages so all us readers don’t suffer withdrawal symptoms.

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