Quillen’s Corner: Run for Your Lives, Nice Guys

By Martha Quillen

Do nice guys finish first? Or last?

That’s a classic question, but what I want to know is not where nice guys finish (since they likely finish in different places), but what merits the designation “nice.” In our era, citizens tend to either praise political VIPs or call them stupid – and sometimes even accuse them of criminal activities – whether the conversation is about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, or the mayor of Salida.

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George Sibley: Down on the Ground with the Great Divide

By George Sibley

You’re probably thinking I mean the “Continental Divide.” No, I’m talking – again – about the lurking ghost that has always haunted America, but which burst forth in full dark bloom in last year’s election: the urban-rural divide. Or, as demographers increasingly characterize it today: the metropolitan-nonmetropolitan divide.

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Places: Cottonwood Creek

A makeshift shrine erected along Cottonwood Creek just before the trailhead. Photo by Ericka Kastner.

By Ericka Kastner

I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret telling you about this trail. It’s long been one of my favorites – this is the spot where I go when I need a day knee-deep in wilderness. This is the trail that I keep quiet about, only inviting certain people along to experience the route. So, I guess I’m officially inviting you.

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The Real Deal Music Review: Pint & A Half – Boomtown Ghosts

By Brian Rill

Pint & A Half return from their part-time gig as Smeltertown ghost whisperers to record the stories of forgotten souls who paved the way through old mining town memories, while raising a rags-to-riches fairy tale in this western small town paradise of Salida, Colorado. Regrouping, the pair this time collaborates with legendary producer Don Richmond to release a product at the top of its game. Songs with multiple instruments such as steel guitar and violin lend to the classic country sound. The duo still has the same sound, but a more polished meter and maturity of songwriting seep through the sometimes brash, but mostly smooth, vocal harmonies.

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Reviews: The Silver Baron’s Wife

By Donna Baier Stein
Serving House Books
ISBN 978-0-997010-6-5

Reviewed by Forrest Whitman

Lizzy “Baby Doe” Tabor is a tough subject for any novelist to pick, and Donna Stein has done a good job here. There are hundreds of books and articles written about this famous figure from Colorado history. There are also plays and one full length opera. The interpretations of her life and writings are many indeed. What can another historical novel add?

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Museums of Central Colorado: The Past Returns to Crestone

By James P. McCalpin

Beginning this month, we will be profiling many of the museums that can be found throughout the region. Often staffed by community volunteers, these institutions play a vital role in archiving and documenting the history of the region and help to keep us connected to the past. We begin the series in the San Luis Valley, home to a number of museums, large and small.

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The Crowded Acre: Soccer Mom

By Jennifer Welch

I’m not entirely sure how the thing happened. I was there, of course, when it happened. I even took part in the happening of the thing. But I still can’t be sure of the how part. And, you know, life goes on – blah, blah, blah, we will all survive – yada, yada, yada. Maybe I will even find a way to forgive myself somewhere way, way down the line. But for right now, in this very moment, I am still kicking myself for that single moment of weakness. I am utterly questioning what made me do the unspeakable deed of signing all three of my children up for spring soccer. Ugh.

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Eye on the 5th

By Daniel Smith

Our second column focusing on the 5th Congressional District finds an interesting, if somewhat predictable, turn of events.

The 10-year incumbent, Doug Lamborn, now has a Republican primary challenger: 32-year-old Owen Hill, a two-term state senator who recently announced he would challenge the 62-year-old representative, telling the Colorado Springs Gazette that frustration with the incumbent has reached “A deafening chorus.”

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The Lost Canyon Placer

From the upper Lost Canyon cabin, there is a magnificent view of Twin Lakes.

Article and photos by Kenneth Jessen

Located west of Granite, Colorado, is the Lost Canyon Placer, with its two remaining cabins on the north side of County Road 398 and a creek on the south side. To get to Lost Canyon requires heading west past the Granite Cemetery and the site of Cache Creek. The road begins to climb through an aspen forest in a little less than three miles from Granite. A series of switchbacks brings the road into the canyon proper. Almost all of the way to the first cabin the road is relatively smooth. Beyond this point, it may require a high-ground clearance vehicle.

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Designating Lands with Wilderness Characteristics in Western Fremont County

Table Mountain in eastern Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Courtesy of Wild Connections.

By Tyler Grimes

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office is currently updating its Resource Management Plan, which will determine how public lands in the area are managed for the next 20 to 30 years. Planning usually takes three to five years and this plan’s scoping began in 2015. Colorado Central covered the planning in the April 2015 issue, during the public commenting period. The agency then created a preliminary draft. Now, the BLM is asking for additional public comment to inform a preliminary draft plan based on preliminary alternatives. “The public lands in the area provide fantastic opportunities for locals and visitors alike,” said public affairs specialist Amber Iannella. “We are looking forward to hearing from the community about why this area is important to them, along with any potential concerns, to help us plan for the future.”

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From the Editor: The Great War

By Mike Rosso

I just finished watching PBS’s three-part series, The Great War, about the first large-scale, post industrial global war. It was quite an eye-opener. I’ve been fascinated by that devastating conflict since reading All Quiet on the Western Front by German World War I veteran, Erich Maria Remarque.

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About the Artist: Denise Micciche

I have been doing art since childhood, and while not currently a working artist, I make every effort to keep it in my life. I studied art formally at San Francisco State University and in 1992 received a Bachelor’s of Art in Painting and Printmaking. Both mediums are a passion, but since living in Colorado …

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By Hal Walter

As I write it’s autism awareness month and I find myself reflecting upon just how aware we really are as a society.

To kick things off, the White House was lit up blue. Yet the new education secretary and supreme court justice are not exactly known as champions of those with special needs.

Leading up to this month, and all through it, autism parents are bombarded with emails from well-meaning friends and family about the latest this or that to help your child, ranging from tennis-ball chairs to herbal supplements including cannabis, to various therapies or the latest Temple Grandin book. Most of us realize there is no magic cure. As one psychologist told me: “If you’ve met one autistic child, you’ve met one autistic child.”

Nevertheless, we are constantly fed an endless stream of nonsense stereotypes from healthcare professionals who should know better and the media which remains clueless. Kids with autism can’t stand loud or sudden noises, don’t like to be touched, won’t look others in the eye, are sensitive to bright lights, are not social beings … and so on and etc. While some or all of these may describe many kids, none of them is true about my son Harrison, who becomes a teenager this month.

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The Rise of HRWW and Gophers

By John Mattingly

Temperatures in the Valley have been warm this season, and modeling shows spring arriving two to three weeks early this year. The notion that the weather and climate have a timetable may be a prime example of hubris, but there clearly are signals in global weather that are changing, and whether they are human-caused or cyclical, or a combination of both, does not change the needs of adaptation.

In the Valley, from 1988 until now – the period in which I farmed in the Valley – a couple of changes correlate to a longer growing season. Acknowledging that correlation is not causation, it is true that from roughly 1995 to present, winter wheat, aka HRWW for hard red winter wheat, and winter rye have become a regular crop in the Valley, when prior to that time, winter wheat was not thought to be viable because of the cold temperatures and late spring frosts. If the wheat crown is frozen for long periods it dehydrates and dies, and if the crown makes the winter, it will head out and a frost in late May or early June will cause a lot of blanks in the wheat head.

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Prisoners of War in Colorado

By Mike Rosso

During World War II – from 1943 to 1946 – Colorado was home to around 43 Prisoner of War (POW) Camps, according to Metropolitan State University of Denver. Nationwide, there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps housing nearly 425,000 POWs, most of whom were German, although some of the earliest prisoners were Italians captured in North Africa. The camps were administered by the United States Army Provost Marshal General’s Office and the Colorado region was administered by the Seventh Service Command.

Trinidad, Colorado Springs and Greeley were locations for major POW camps during the war. Camp Carson, in the Springs, housed up to 12,000 men. All three were located in agricultural areas that were experiencing labor shortages and the camps provided prisoners to work in the fields. They were paid with coupons used to purchase goods such as tobacco and toothpaste. Depending upon rank, officers received $20 to $30 per month and enlisted men got ten cents per day.

Some prisoners were chosen to work for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, placing telephone poles, laying railroad ties and other labor intensive mountain projects.

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The Salida Circus turns Ten

By Elliot Jackson

“When I came to Salida and began talking about starting a circus,” says Jennifer Dempsey, artistic director of the Salida Circus, “people thought I was nuts. So I stopped talking about it and just started doing it.”

If anyone still thinks that, they aren’t saying so as Salida Circus stands on the brink of its 10th anniversary celebration. From its beginnings in Jennifer’s backyard, with “me, a bag of kids’ costumes, and a pair of stilts,” as Jennifer puts it, Salida Circus has grown into an organization with a full professional performance schedule, a host of classes for both kids and adults in aerial work, clowning, tumbling and juggling, and an international scope. Two years ago, Dempsey led a small team back to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the Belfast Community Circus’s hosting of the Festival of Fools, an international street performance festival; and in autumn 2016, she led another team to do performances and workshops in Jordan as guests of former Prime Minister Abdul Kabariti. Salida Circus has also performed in London and Newcastle, England, Germany and Guatemala.

In addition to these honors, Salida Circus is the only American member of Caravan, the European “social circus” network, and in 2015 was selected to be part of the Social Circus Network, chosen by Cirque du Soleil and the American Youth Circus Organization. Social circus practitioners emphasize that it is designed to foster community andm to bring people together across class, racial, ethnic, and religious lines.

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