George Sibley: Down on the Ground with Groundwater

Water again. Just can’t get away from the stuff – literally can’t, I guess, being myself about 70 percent just water that learned how to stand up and look around.

What’s caught my attention this month is a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey, finding that more of the water in the Upper Colorado River streams and rivers originates from groundwater than from snowmelt runoff. This is a little counterintuitive – especially now in May and June, with our rivers so exuberant – sometimes a little ominously – with snowmelt.

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John Mattingly: Home Land Security

When leaders and legislators use the word “homeland,” war is usually on the way. Putting the words “home” and “land” together commutes a national notion to one’s home and has been a reliable motivator for raising or deploying a fighting force. Young people in particular, the most able to fight, and who have been living at home for most of their lives, are easily tricked by this play on words. The prospect of defending the home of your parents, spouse, or children motivates the fighting spirit far more than the truth, which is that gutless, lard-bound leaders need young people to do their bidding and generate profits for the war machinery.

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The Real Deal Music Review: Still The Birds – Darryl Purpose

birdscd_webBy Brian Rill

The spiritual purpose of Nederland-based Darryl Purpose’s new collection purposes to insight mass awareness and, thereby, inspires world peace. A magical musical collaboration with eleven songs, co-written by author and songwriter Paul Zollo, Still The Birds soars like a black swan against the mediocre motley crew who unfurl Jolly Roger flags over a sea of modern music. Zollo’s wording begins to speak poignantly while substantively engaging the human experience of divinity.

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The Crowded Acre – What A Long, Strange Trip

By Jennifer Welch

Y’all … what a long, strange trip it’s been. I am a pig farmer, a cook, and the owner of a 1984 65-passenger Bluebird school bus. The amount of stuff I don’t know could fill that school bus ten times over. But there are a few things I have learned along the way that are worth sharing.

The first thing I’ve learned is: Never say never.

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The Maverick Potter – All Fired Up

img_2614_webHaving grown up in Hong Kong, Salida ceramic artist Mark Rittman gained a uniquely Asian perspective in his work.

Mark, along with his wife Suzanne, has been operating the Maverick Potter in downtown Salida since 2008. Their store, located at 119 F Street, features a variety of artwork from regional artists, but it is Mark’s ceramic work that neatly ties together the various mediums on display.

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Ring-A-Ding Farm: Organic Greens in Western Fremont County

Photo by Julia Michel
Photo by Julia Michel

By Ericka Kastner

It’s a tale of two brothers, Adam and Noah Ring. At one time they were each deeply entrenched in their own careers on the Front Range. Then one day they both realized they didn’t like where their lives were headed and set out together to buy 35 acres in Howard, at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Range and begin farming.

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Making A Difference in Del Norte

markjones_webBy Virginia McConnell Simmons

Mark M. Jones, AIA, who died from hantavirus in May, is leaving a lasting imprint on the town of Del Norte and other areas in the San Luis Valley. He will be remembered for his expertise as an architect, his high standards of design and workmanship, and his vision for revitalizing the town where he had lived since the 1990s. His imprint is on many buildings, large and small.

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Celebrating 40 years of Musical Excellence: The Salida Aspen Concert Series

Composer/bassist Edgar Meyer, called by The New Yorker “the most remarkable virtuoso” in the history of his instrument, has come to Salida Aspen three times (2006, 2013 and 2015).
Composer/bassist Edgar Meyer, called by The New Yorker “the most remarkable virtuoso” in the history of his instrument, has come to Salida Aspen three times (2006, 2013 and 2015).

By Don Bauder

The world champion Denver Broncos have decided to relocate from the Denver area, population 2,814,330, to Chaffee County, population 18,658.

Well, not really, but on a per capita basis, Chaffee County folks probably enjoy watching more star performers than Denver area residents do.

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The Way We Really Were

mirage_webBy Virginia McConnell Simmons

School’s out. Summer’s sightseers in Central Colorado will enjoy photographing and painting picturesque one-room schoolhouses that now stand empty or have taken on new roles such as community centers or museums – Mirage (pictured here), Alma, Jefferson, Malta, Sargents, Twin Lakes, Valley View, Westcliffe, and many more. But before we get too nostalgic, let’s picture that one-room with pupils too large and too small, a young teacher with maybe one year of training, frayed readers instead of computers, desks too close to the hot stove or at a frigid distance from it, galoshes, and no school bus.

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Places: San Luis State Park and Wildlife Area

By Ericka Kastner

I’ll admit it. I’m usually not much of a state parks gal. I tend to migrate toward wilderness areas, BLM  lands and National Forests. So when my friends asked me to join them on a warm July weekend last summer for a boat outing to the San Luis State Park and Wildlife Area, I almost didn’t go.

But from the moment of my arrival to the park, I was glad I’d come. The first thing I noticed was the incredible tranquility as there wasn’t another car or boat in sight. Beyond that, the views from the lakeshore were breathtaking. The Sangre de Cristos have long been my favorite Colorado mountain range, so the idea of being able to glide my stand-up paddle board on glassy water with gorgeous mountain peaks and the Great Sand Dunes National Park looming in the distance quickly became a perfect reality.

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Far View Horse Rescue – Caring for Wild and Unwanted Equines

By Laura Van Dusen

From tiny Shetland ponies to a massive Thoroughbred, the horses, mules, and burros living at Far View Horse Rescue thrive when they are given what we all crave – attention, love, and a chance to feel needed.

Far View, five miles south of Fairplay near Kokanee Road at U.S. 285, began in October 2010. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit takes in unwanted and homeless equines: some whose owners can no longer care for them, some within days of slaughter, and some – like the two newest residents – who were captured by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in roundups designed to decrease the number of wild horses and burros on public land.

On April 7, a wild mustang, then tagged #0274, and a wild burro tagged #5207, started a new life when they were delivered to Far View Horse Rescue from the BLM holding pens at Cañon City Correctional Institution (CCCI). They were welcomed by a chorus of neighs and brays from their new equine family.

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Book Review: A Walk in Connection

A Walk in Connection

By Tracy Ane Brooks

Balboa Press: Paper, 220 pp, $16.99

Reviewed by Annie Dawid

One of Mission: Wolf’s directors, Tracy Ane Brooks, has written a memoir of her decades-long journey into connection with animals, specifically wolves and horses. Her book is intended for those readers who believe animals are sentient, intelligent creatures like ourselves, worthy of knowing, loving, celebrating and mourning.

Much of her focus here centers on the intuitive abilities innate to human beings. “I believe that any human with the desire and intent to connect, in loving and positive ways, with troubled canines or horses was born with the tools to do so already within them.”

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By Hal Walter

Last year when my son Harrison was suspended from school for taking swings at teachers, he asked if I’d ever been suspended. I answered truthfully that I had been, once, then I told him why.

I was serving out the senior year of what I viewed then as my school sentence at Moffat County High in Craig, Colorado. I also worked at the local community newspaper, the Northwest Colorado Daily Press. As part of my duties there I wrote a school news column called “MoCo Highlights.”

As I recall, someone in the school faculty had suggested I write about the new audio-visual equipment in the library. However, when I interviewed the librarians I found an even better story – they had some great new equipment but had received no training on how to use it; thus, it was collecting dust.

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