Assessing Tax Assessments

Column by Hal Walter

Rural government – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

A RECENT ADDITION to the neighborhood is a family of yaks who have taken up residence on a nearby ranchette. There’s no home on the property, just some electric fence, a stack of hay, feeders and a heated stock tank. And several yaks.

In a neighborhood of mostly cows and horses, the yaks really stand out.

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Some Winter Reading

Essay by Martha Quillen

Literature – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE ASSIGNMENT — if I chose to accept it — was to make a list of some of my favorite books (including, of course, only books currently in print and readily available in 2000). That sounds easy, doesn’t it? Or at least it certainly didn’t sound like a mission impossible. But when I tried to come up with some titles, I found myself faltering.

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You could look it up

Review by Ed Quillen

Reference books – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

ALTHOUGH I’M HARD TO BEAT at certain versions of Trivial Pursuit or You Don’t Know Jack, I still need to look things up frequently. Maybe it’s my age, but I prefer printed pages to computer screens, and it is my firm belief that it is impossible to own too many reference books.

Always nearby I keep The American Heritage Dictionary: Second College Edition. It has the clearest definitions, as determined by a parlor game we played once: one person reads definitions, and the others try to guess the word being defined.

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Some personal favorites

Review by Lynda La Rocca

Favorite books – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

AFTER WATCHING A MARVELOUS BBC America production of Charles Dickens’ 19th-century classic David Copperfield a couple of months ago, I became obsessed with all things Dickens.

Not having read any of Dickens’ novels since college (with the exception of my annual rereading of A Christmas Carol, a book I extolled in a December, 1996, Colorado Central column), I’d almost forgotten how prodigiously talented — and timeless — a writer Dickens is.

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Railroad reminisces

Letter from Ray Schoch

Colorado Central – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed & Martha:

It was a pleasure to meet you both at the Headwaters Conference, and I always enjoy being able to put a face with the name on the byline. I also enjoyed Ed’s irreverent — I hope — comment that “legalizing poverty” might be one way the Headwaters region might adapt to the rapidly changing economy of the 21st century.

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Provide some scale

Letter from Sally Gilchrist

Art – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed & Martha:

As a new subscriber, I was happy to see an article on a local artist [Marty Mitchell of Saguache in the December edition].

Especially one, like myself, who has chosen to retreat to the backwoods for whatever reason. I was interested in reading about Mitchell’s philosophy and feel similarly influenced by local landscape, although I am still a figurative painter. As Thoreau once said; “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,…., and to see if I could learn what it had to teach,” It sounds like Mitchell is doing just that. Bravo. Thank you for the inclusion of art, whatever the method.

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That other world is growing faster than we can keep it out

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Corporations and government – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ed and Martha,

I got a chuckle out of Lindell Cline’s letter. Once I would have written him off as a hopeless reactionary, but now I’d call him a hopeless reactionary with a couple of good points. Yes sir, if you want the government to rein in everything wicked, then you have no moral recourse if the government comes over to tighten the reins on you. There is a time to quit whining and thumbsucking and start piling up rocks or whatever you can get and make a little bit of the world into your corner where things work right according to you. And, no sir, I did not vote for that old curmudgeon Nader as I’ve got all the old curmudgeon I need right here in my own home.

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Bashing government won’t help, either

Letter from Art Goodtimes

Government & Corporations – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed & Martha:

I can sure understand Lindell Cline’s frustration with government, particularly at the national level [Cline’s letter in the December, 2000, edition]. But who in his right mind would advocate bashing government instead of corporations?

Sure, total government control, as exists in some countries, is bad news. But it’s setting up a false dichotomy to compare the American political system of checks and balances with the increasingly centralized power of multi-nationals and their international supra-government institutions like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.

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A global way to start the count

Column by George Sibley

Chronology – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE END OF THE YEAR is a good time to think about time, but the end of a “millennium” is an even better time to think about it.

So did the new millennium began last New Year’s Eve, or (since the Romans counted from “1” rather than “0”) does it begin this New Year’s?

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The Homestake Mine: Then and Now

Sidebar by Allen Best

Homestake Mine Tragedy – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

The story of how the Homestake Mine was discovered sounds too fanciful to be real. It was 1871, and the brilliant flash of placer gold at California Gulch from 1860 had dulled considerably. Still, prospectors searched.

One party of five prospectors rode to the flanks of Mount Massive, and continued north across Galena, stopping here and there to poke around as they followed the Continental Divide north toward 13,209-foot Homestake Peak.

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Homestake Mine Tragedy Sources

Sidebar by Allen Best

Homestake Mine Tragedy – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Sources

Books:

Historic Avalanches in the Northern Front Range and the Central and Northern Mountains of Colorado, by M. Martinelli Jr. and Charles F. Leaf. 1999: Rocky Mountain Research Station.

History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado, by Don and Jean Griswold.

Leadville: Colorado’s Magic City, by Edward Blair. 1980: Pruett, Boulder.

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The vengeance against men for the muck called gold

Sidebar by Allen Best

Homestake Mine Tragedy – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Hundreds of miners lost their lives to avalanches in and near the mining camps of the West. Colorado’s recorded deaths began as early as 1860, southwest of Denver, and have continued until as recently as November 1986, when a miner working in the La Plata Mountains west of Durango went to an early grave. During the last 14 years, Colorado averaged six deaths per year, nearly all among recreationalists.

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The Homestake Horror

Poem by John Garvin

Homestake Mine Tragedy – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Homestake Horror

From lonely Homestake mountain,

Where the snow lies hard and deep–

From lonely Homestake mountain,

Where the rocks rise high and steep–

There came a tale of horror,

A deadening tale of woe:

“Ten men are lying buried–

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The Homestake Horror of 1885

Article by Allen Best

Homestake Mine Tragedy – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THEY ALL HOPED they could get rich quickly. The plan was simple enough. Endure a winter at the remote Homestake Mine, and by summer, when the snow had lost its icy fastness on this timberline perch, the ten men would emerge with their fortunes.

For a young man in Leadville in 1885, taking risks was the only way left to make a fortune. The easy money had all been scooped up, with claims staked for miles around. It had all happened so fast.

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Robert Gray of Buena Vista turns aspen into art

Article by Clint Driscoll

Local artist – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE AVERAGE PERSON would not assume a man driving an older model Ford pickup with a Trout Unlimited decal and a prominently displayed “No Whining” bumper sticker would have the soul of an artist; but assumptions are often wrong. Over the past decade Robert “Bob” Gray has established his reputation as the finest creator of turned wood objects d’art in the region. He has spent hours bouncing over back roads in his Ford searching for windfall or beaver-cut aspen trees which provide the raw material for his work.

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A Colorado tree grows in Washington

Brief by Central Staff

Forestry – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

The “Millennium Holiday Tree” — perhaps more familiarly known as this year’s White House Christmas Tree — came from Pike-San Isabel National Forest in Central Colorado.

The 65-foot-tall Colorado Blue Spruce near Woodland Park was selected two years ago, when Colorado got the chance to supply the tree.

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Lake County planners recommend denial of Eagle Sky

Brief by Central Staff

Land Use – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Lake County Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended that the county commissioners deny the Eagle Sky Christian Challenge Camp.

The 3-2 vote came at a Nov. 20 meeting, and the county commissioners planned to vote before the end of 2000 on whether to follow the recommendation for denial, or to over-rule the planning board and approve the camp, perhaps with conditions.

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Camouflage for cell-phone towers

Brief by Central Staff

Communications – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

When we started this magazine nearly seven years ago, Central Colorado was pretty much a “cell-free zone.” Now people call their friends from atop 14ers.

Cellular telephones have a short range — there has to be an antenna nearby. In towns, the fixed antennæ are often hidden inside church steeples and the like, but out in the country, there may be no place to hide it.

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New Book from a Local Author

Brief by Central Staff

Local Book – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

We generally review books by local authors, but there are occasions when a review doesn’t make much sense, such as when the book is aimed at a specialized audience.

Such is the case for a new book by Leadville writer and librarian Sharon Chickering Moller (who contributes to this magazine from time to time).

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Frémont County loses its last coal mine

Brief by Central Staff

Mining – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Leadville lost its last silver mine when the Asarco Black Cloud closed in 1999, and Frémont County is losing its last coal mine at the close of 2000.

The Energy Fuels Coal Mine, eight miles south of Florence, was scheduled to shut down sometime in December, putting about 40 employees out of work.

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Should we call this Y2K+1?

Brief by Central Staff

Chronology – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

As we went to press, Y2K was winding down, which inspires some questions, like “What do we call the new year?” and “Is this the real start of the new millennium?”

The locution Y2K is an abbreviation for Year 2000 with K standing for kilo, a scientific prefix derived from the Greek word chilias, meaning 1,000. So it would be more accurate to use 2KY to refer to “2 kiloyears.”

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Squeakers

Florida recounts — they’re not just for Bushes anymore. Recounts were demanded in the District 60 race for state representative, where challenger Jim Snook took the seat from Al Gagliardi by only 91 votes, and in Rio Grande County, where Wendy Mellott lost her race against Vern Rominger for commissioner. In Conejos County, the recount totaled 1,672 votes to eliminate term limits for the coroner, and 1,674 to retain them.

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Is Salida secretly searching for a new slogan?

Brief by Central Staff

Geography – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

While cleaning the other day, we ran across an old Salida phone book, which of course ended up where the new one should be when it was time to look up a number, whereupon we discovered that the “Salida Chamber of Commerce” used to be listed as the “Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce.”

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Western Water Report: 7 January 2001

COLORADO RIVER HEADWATERS’ WATER QUALITY

The Water Quality Control Commission is having a Classification and Standards Rulemaking hearing in March for the Lower Colorado River (in Colorado), the Gunnison River and Lower Dolores River and the San Juan River basins. The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, with the encouragement of the EPA, is proposing sweeping changes to Recreational Classifications. To achieve the goal of the Clean Water Act to have all waters of the United States swimable and fishable, the Division is proposing that standards be set for all water segments for primary contact recreation. This would require standards of 200 fecal coliform colonies/100 ml or 126 e-coli colonies/100 ml.

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Beating the Great Name Game

Essay by Linda Hasselstrom

Modern Life – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

MY FAVORITE GROCERY STORE reminds me of the little town where I grew up. A block from the Cheyenne, Wyoming, capitol building, it’s a miniature community where legislators in three-piece suits jostle the homeless people cashing welfare checks. Clerks call cabs for shoppers, asking about their grandkids, and treat folks with food stamps as politely as they treat lawyers. Local teenagers call it the “ghetto Safeway.”

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