What’s Brewing in Colorado?

by Peter Ensminger

Colorado has some really big breweries, Coors Brewing Company of Golden and Anheuser-Busch of Fort Collins. Coors grew even bigger in February of 2005, when it became a division of Molson Coors Brewing Company. Molson Coors produces more than 40 million barrels (1,240 million gallons) of beer per year, has about 10,000 employees, and is the fifth largest brewery in the world. Somewhat confusingly, SABMiller (South African Breweries-Miller) markets Coors beer in North America. Coors proudly proclaims that their Golden brewery is the world’s largest single-site brewery. They also claim the largest aluminum can-producing plant in the world, Rocky Mountain Metal Container.

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Luck Strikes Again

by Hal Walter

The telltale squiggly tracks across the dirt roads begin to show up in mid-May, a sign you need to watch your step until about late October.

One of the hazards of living in this particular ecotone — a place where different ecosystems overlap — is you may go jogging past an aspen grove one minute and step right over a rattlesnake a quarter-mile later.

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Historic Architecture of Central Colorado

photo by M. Rosso

Salida’s historic downtown is considered to be the largest in Colorado. Many buildings are already on the National or State registers of historic places. Here is one which may be eligible for this prestigious award. Parlin Terrace, a duplex at 120-122 North C, was built around 1909-1910 for multiple dwellings.

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Death of a Farmer

by John Mattingly

A front page headline of the June 3, 2009 Denver Post decried, “MORE FARMERS LOSING HOPE, Suicide hotlines field calls as prices fall and money woes mount …”

An early paragraph pointed out: “In the past year, economics and inclement weather have crippled operations, pushing countless farmers to the emotional breaking point, say industry experts.”

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The Alpine Tunnel (and how to get there)

by Kenneth Jessen

In 1879, the Denver, South Park & Pacific railroad constructed a narrow gauge railroad from Denver up the South Platte Canyon, over Kenosha Pass and across South Park. It was a grand scheme to tap shipments to and from the mining areas, pick up agricultural products, and carry passengers on one of the most spectacular railroads ever constructed. It was also a race with the Denver & Rio Grande railroad to reach Gunnison. The Denver & Rio Grande wisely picked a rather conventional route over Marshall Pass, while the Denver, South Park & Pacific embarked on a daring scheme to drill a tunnel under the Continental Divide.

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Manuelitas Restaurant – Raw Oysters at 10,152 Feet

Regional Restaurant Review

by C.C. staff

311 Harrison Street
Leadville, CO 80461

Manuelitas Restaurant in Leadville has been serving traditional Mexican and seafood dishes for nine years. Although miles above and away from the ocean, the seafood dishes are especially unique – prepared and seasoned in a style commonly found along the sunny beaches of Mexico.

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From the Compost Bin – July 2009

(Tips for high-altitude gardeners)

by Suzanne Ward

My sister gardens in the southern United States and complains about the water. “We’ve had too much rain,” she says. Obviously, this is not a problem in our arid Colorado bioregion. Our challenge is to keep enough water on the garden at the right time during the growing season.

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News from the San Luis Valley

By Marcia Darnell

Water Woes West

Now it’s Monte Vista with a water weakness. The town had to perform a chlorine flush after tests showed coliform bacteria in the system. Monte Vista is asking residents to reduce outdoor watering during the Big Flush. It seems more water in the system means a more effective cleansing.

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Regional News Roundup – July 2009

Chaffee County attorney requests special prosecutor to investigate 2004 death

SALIDA – A special prosecutor was requested by Chaffee County Attorney Jennifer Davis after 11th Judicial District Attorney Thom LeDoux refused to file charges against two men in connection with the 2004 death of a Highlands Ranch woman at Chalk Creek near Nathrop.

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by Dennis Fischer

The tragedy of Mad Cow disease reminds the author of a different kind of “mad” cow.

Out here in the West, range cattle are well-known for their ornery dispositions. Their instincts for survival are strong, and stories of their aggressive behavior are legendary. The dairy cows I grew up around however are docile creatures, even considered dull-witted by some. This is the story of a cow that was neither of these things.

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Walter Brewing Company, RIP

Over the years, breweries have faced a multitude of onslaughts: the temperance movement, prohibition, consolidation, and globalization. The Walter Brewing Company is one that did not make it. Johannes Walter, a German immigrant, founded Walter’s in Spencer, WI in 1874.

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New Railroad to Colorado Central Country

(It’s Probably Coming To Leadville)

by Forrest Whitman

Every time I stroll along the out-of-service Union Pacific (U.P.) tracks near Cleora I get nostalgic for passenger trains. Why can’t I board a train in Salida? I know my black lab Gus and his buddy Bodie would hate to have trains honking along their favorite stretch of track and Bodie might just chase trains. But we could leave the dogs home and board in Leadville. That’s not a fantasy. Your Colorado rail authority is about ready to decide on a rail route through the Rocky Mountains. Mainly that’s to take the pressure off I-70, but it will serve Colorado Central Country, too. I’m predicting that a decade from now we’ll be able to board a “medium high-speed” electric MagLev train. That passenger train will whisk folks from Golden to the ski resorts, Leadville, and Eagle County Airport.

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Should a River Run Under It?

(Editor’s note: In our June issue we ran two articles by Denver author Keith Howard on the artists Christo and Jeanne Claude. One of our readers, who is opposed to the project proposed for the Arkansas River, Over the River, asked if we would reprint the following editorial from the editor of Landscape Architecture magazine offering his viewpoint.)

Environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude want to cover up a white-water river in the Rocky Mountains with 5.9 miles of silvered cloth. Should the people of Colorado let them do it?

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Quillen’s Corner – July 2009

There was a time when I felt close to the leading edge of digital technology. That was a quarter of a century ago, in 1984, when I was one of the first Salidans to work with a genuine personal computer.

The computer was an Osborne I. It had two 5.25-inch floppy drives, a tiny 5-inch screen, an 8-bit Z80 CPU, and a full 64-kilobytes of RAM.

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From the Editor – July 2009

At this moment I have nearly 2,000 strangers spending the night in my neighborhood.

Participants in the Ride the Rockies bike tour are camped out in tents, RVs, pickup beds, vans, and on the floor of the high school field house, about two blocks from my home/office. Today they rode over the Continental Divide from Gunnison, about 65 miles. Tomorrow they rise early and pedal 60 miles to Leadville. By Friday they are back in Glenwood Springs, having completed a loop of 380 miles in six days.

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Crestone Market, Local Beef

Colorado Central has readers! I’ve run into a few folks at Crestone Saturday Market who recognized my name from these pages, one who enjoyed the magazine on the internet while on assignment with the Peace Corps in Ukraine, another while off in rural Ohio, Also Julie Sullivan and George Whitten of San Juan Ranch here in Saguache. I wondered what sort of vitamins they take to give them the energy to run that operation.

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The Best Poets?

Dear Editor and Readers,

I write in response to a letter in your May issue penned by Mr. Simon Halburian.

Mr. H. sez… Aspiring writers need to read some of the best poets so they can judge whether their verse compositions, which should never be called poetry, rise to that level.

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Getting “Home” was the Problem

by Patty La Taille

Home is a relative term, especially when you marry into the military. My first year of marriage was a rocky one – a spontaneous European elopement as the shadow of Desert Storm – the first war in Iraq – descended on his battalion based in Nuremberg, Germany. Jim and I were married in Vejle, Denmark, on Pearl Harbor Day in 1990, together as man (First Lieutenant) and wife for two weeks, and then he was shipped off to engage the Iraqi Republican Guard in the Persian Gulf. I left Europe to wait out the war back in the States and he fortunately returned six months later. I was 17 pounds lighter and dealing with my own version of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a new (and unfortunately “feeling abandoned”) military wife. We celebrated a quick wedding fiesta in the States with family and friends and off we went to Fort Leonard Wood (FLW), in the backwoods of Missouri.

As a recent college graduate with a degree in Sociology, fresh from a semester abroad and life and travel overseas, I was completely unprepared for the drudgery of life on a military base in “Misery.” Born and raised on Long Island, close to New York City, it was a shock to be cautioned not to take my New York style of dress and attitude – and our new silver Mazda Miata convertible – outside the base. I was warned it was “Deliverance Country” out there. Better to play it safe and stay in our tract home with the AC on, watching Oprah and learning how to be a good homemaker and officer’s wife.

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Byways Reward with Scenery, History — and an Award

by Susan Tweit

If you’re a wildflower lover as I am, take a trip to Colorado’s High Plains soon. This year’s unusual dose of early monsoon moisture has painted the shortgrass prairie in a vivid array of scarlet, yellow, purple, and magenta wildflowers.

Chose one of the scenic byways that traverse eastern Colorado’s seemingly endless sea of prairie and you’ll be find both glorious spring color and fascinating stories.

Head to southeastern Colorado, for instance, and follow the Santa Fe Trail, either beginning at Trinidad, or at the Kansas border east of Lamar on U.S. Highway 50.

“This byway traces one of the West’s historic commercial routes… When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, the United States gained a new trading partner. (Spain had kept its borders firmly closed to U.S. trade.)

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Down on the Ground with Water and Democracy

by George Sibley

Colorado’s “Water for the Future Act” is now going into its fifth year. Is it working?

Well, I am betting that most Coloradans who read that paragraph will say, “Huh?” “Colorado’s what?” This could be taken as a measure of the extent to which the “Water for the Future” process is not working, not yet anyway – in part because it involves “water”, which we are all aware of needing, but which we have all been sort of psychologized to tune out on when someone brings up the technical, legal or legislative underpinnings of our water systems. “That’s too complex for us citizens to understand.”

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Book Review: Art in America

by Ron McLarty
Published in 2008 by Penguin Books Ltd.
ISBN: 978-0-670-01895-6
367 pp.

Reviewed by Marcia Darnell

What do you get when you add a New York writer to the San Luis Valley?

“Art in America.”

Veteran character actor Ron McLarty has built a successful second career as a writer. Creede Repertory Theatre is considering producing one of his plays, and his novels have garnered a lot of attention. “Art in America,” his third book, is largely set in the San Luis Valley, within the fictional village of Creedemore, based on Creede.

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