The Caboose

By Forrest Whitman There’s shock in Colorado at the real prospect of losing the popular passenger train, the Chief. The rumors out of AMTRAK all say the Chief is in a railroad death spiral. The new President of AMTRAK, Richard Anderson, runs AMTRAK like President Trump runs the White House. There’s no public input or …

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Quillen’s Corner: Can We Fix What Happened Yesterday?

By Martha Quillen

After Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain committed suicide, news sources focused on our nation’s escalating suicide rate, and some concluded our entire society is sick. But that’s hardly a novel idea in our era of school shootings, factionalism, and increased levels of opioid addiction, obesity, suicide, inequality and scandals that reveal sexist and racist attitudes.

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A Pyrrhic Victory?

By Hal Walter When we last left off in the continuing saga of our efforts to get Harrison on Medicaid coverage through the Children’s Extended Support (CES) Waiver, his application had been denied by the state, and I was determined to raise hell about it. As background, Harrison is diagnosed with autism and ADHD, and …

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Down on the Ground with the Troubled Trees

By George Sibley

The onset of the wildfire season puts our forests back on the front page, but the wildfires are really just a visible symptom of larger troubles among the trees – troubles that track those “natural disasters” right back to us humans and some naive cultural choices.

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Places – Iris: A Very Remote Ghost Town

Article, photo and map by Kenneth Jessen Iris, located in the northern part of Saguache County south of Gunnison, was one of the most remote ghost towns in the state. Until recently, the roads into the area were private, gated and posted. New home construction west of the site has opened up the area to …

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Dispatch From The Edge

By Peter Anderson

It is hard enough to explain the game to someone who does not know it. It is even harder for them to understand why you love baseball enough to watch it. It is soooo slowwww, they say, and they are right, but for me anyway, that is part of the game’s appeal. What a waste of time, others say, and who am I to argue? For them, it may well be. But here at the end of the road, watching baseball on a slow summer evening is like drifting down the meanders of a familiar stretch of river – it’s lazy and it’s dreamy and it keeps calling me back.

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Book Review: Bricks Underneath A Hoop Skirt

By Carolyn White Liferich Publishing 2018 ISB 978-1-4897-1637-8(sc) 101 pages Reviewed by Forrest Whitman When I picked up this book I was immediately skeptical. A book about a young woman working with horses in the backcountry sounded like another “girl meets horse” story. Not so this one. White has an understated, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, style. Her …

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Rehabilitating a Homicidal Pet

Vixen. Photo by Babs Schmerl.

By Jane Parnell

Several months before having my right knee replaced, I adopted a puppy, my first ever. I purchased her from a rescue organization that specializes in stray dogs on the Navajo Reservation. She was seven weeks old. They said she was a husky-German shepherd like my previous dog, a stray I rescued myself on a hike in the mountains. I named my husky-shep Beast in hopes of transforming him into a beauty. Once he was neutered and trained, he turned out to be the best dog I ever had. He accompanied me on more than 100 peak-bagging ventures, and as the therapy dog for my department at the university where I used to teach, he developed a loyal following of students in need of unconditional love.

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The Natural World: Mantids

By Tina Mitchell

Mantids (for instance, the “praying mantis”) are some of the most distinctive and well-recognized of all the insect groups. The front prey-grasping legs capture everyone’s attention when they spot a mantid. The top of the thorax (the prothorax) is very elongated to support these prominent forelegs. Mantids have excellent vision, with the prominent eyes widely spaced on a triangular head that can twist, providing an almost 360-degree range of view, and a sometimes creepy look.

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Eye on the 5th

By Daniel Smith

By the time you read this, the results of the state’s open primary election will be known and the armchair political quarterbacks will have aired their opinion, critics will have done their finger-pointing and griping about who lost and why – and the electorate will have had their say about who makes the November ballot in just four months.

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Flashback: 20 Years Ago in Colorado Central Magazine

Waste It To Save Your Community

Essay by Ed Quillen, July 1998

IN THE REST of the temperate world, “spring” means a season of blossoms, greenery and gentle showers. Here in the mountains, it means wind or blistering heat alternating with blizzards – often within the hour, accompanied by landslips and rockslides.

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The Memory Project: Portraits of Syria

By Ann Marie Swan
Photos by Janine Frazee


Salida High School student Madelyn Townsend, 17, with her portrait done for a Syrian girl named Asma, 11.

In late spring, my 15-year-old daughter, Ella, sat at our kitchen table, drawing a portrait of a 10-year-old Syrian girl from a photo. Then she erased away hours of her work. “Her eyes,” Ella said, and gently blew the debris from the page. “I just can’t get her eyes right.”

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Following A Drop: One Man’s Mission to Trace the Arkansas River from Leadville to The Gulf of Mexico, Part 1

By Mike Rosso Hannes Zacharias is on a mission. But the 64-year-old resident of Lexana, Kansas is not on just any mission. He is currently in the process of “following a drop of water” from the headwaters of the Arkansas River in Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. And why would he take on such …

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From the Editor: A Tinderbox

By Mike Rosso

I just got off the phone with an old friend on the east coast. I told him about how dry it’s been here and he informed me about how much rain they’ve been getting. Apparently all of our June moisture found its way to New Jersey, leaving us high and dry – literally.

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About the Cover Photographer: Greg Smith

It started back in kindergarten.

Greg Smith discovered show and tell. He learned everyone has a story. He learned shapes, forms, lines, light, shadow, color and movement are the building blocks of visual storytelling.

He fell in love with visually distinct places – his family’s suburban home in the Maryland woods, the beach, the mountains, their friends’ farm, streams, even concrete canyons.

He also saw how quickly moments pass and how visual elements define them.

Greg grew into an award-winning photographer and producer, a meticulous editor, and a widely published writer about topics ranging from water, the environment and breaking news to technology, copyright and photography business practices. He pursued a career as a photojournalist and editor in Oklahoma, Kansas and Telluride. He eventually settled in South Carolina. There, he and his writer/editor wife, Janet, reared three children on the banks – and in – the tidal May River, not far from Hilton Head Island.

For nearly two decades, he paddled that river and its marshes, photographing wildlife, changing tides and a developing shoreline. He helped launch several publications, and his pictures hung in local galleries, earning him top awards at the Honey Horn Art Market on Hilton Head Island, several one-man shows and inclusion in Charleston’s Southeast Wildlife Expo. In 2009, he released “Keeping the May River Wild.” It screened at five film festivals, earning a national Best of ASMP award and SC-ETV’s Southern Lens award.

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