My town is tops and now the pressure is on

Essay by Rob Marin

Modern Life – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Help me with a quick survey: Pick the “10 Best Towns” that people call home in America. Go ahead, take a minute.

I’m betting Driggs, Idaho, wasn’t your top choice. But that’s assuming you didn’t pick up the March issue of Men’s Journal while waiting for a root canal and see its list for the “Best 50 Places to Live.”

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The quirky nature of horseshoers

Column by Hal Walter

Agriculture – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

A neighbor who owns horses called recently to ask for the name of my farrier. It seems her horseshoer had decided mid-season to blow off the job of keeping steel under her animals. Now she was really in a bind and had run out of farriers to call.

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Another ski area joins the ghosts

Article by Allen Best

Recreation Industry – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Cuchara Ski Area arrived on the coattails of Colorado’s great boom in downhill skiing. That was in 1981-82, the finale of an era when ski areas had routinely posted gains of 10 and even 20 percent. Only droughts seemed to interrupt the steep curve, and most ski areas set out to overcome those by investing heavily in snowmaking equipment.

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Drillin’, Loadin’, and Firin’, by Gladys Sisemore. Postmarks and Places, by George Harlan

Review by Ed Quillen

San Luis Valley History – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Drillin’, Loadin’ and Firin’ – In Crestone with the Old Timers
by Gladys Sisemore
Published in 1983 by the author

Postmarks and Places
by George Harlan
Originally published in 1976
Republished in 2002 by Adobe Village Press

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The Blame Game won’t prevent wildfires

Essay by Ed Quillen

Forests – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

There used to be a popular bumper sticker whose message could be translated into Official English as “Events Occur.” But nobody really believes that — in modern America, nothing just happens.

Thus it’s not enough for us to endure smoke and haze, as well as frequent warnings that great tongues of flame might swing toward our homes. We are also expected to participate in the Great American Blame Game: Who’s going to be held responsible for the Western wildfires of 2002?

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Invasion of the CEOnistas

Letter from Ed Rogers

Modern Life – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


In an attempt to avoid indictments, the 500 remaining CEOs of publicly held US companies made an attempt to enter Mexico but were blocked at the border. They then held a hastily called unannounced public meeting, found an unregulated Colorado County, and have now sought refuge in Chaffee County, Colorado.

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Markets and war

Letter from Slim Wolfe

War on terrorism – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


No discussion of war would be complete without some mention of market forces. First of all, violence itself is under the sway of psychology: the way to avoid a violent confrontation is not to drive through the barrio in a flashy vehicle with a loaded gun on the passenger seat under a newspaper, but that’s more or less the attitude of American global policy. Second, people are hard-up for horror, there’s no nice way to put it. Huge sums of money turn on the horror-market: Jurassic Park, Towering Inferno, all the TV episodes, wrestling, video games, and the Son of God Himself whose message of peace had to be reinforced with the memento of a bloody crucifix, lest only the few take notice. Enough money to bail out a destitute population somewhere.

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Days of infamy

Letter from Katherine Donithorne

War on Terrorism – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

In 1947: The Jews however “inspired” to participate in the founding of Israel were not allowed to enter and, in attempting, attacked by the British. Many immigrants were killed and the others sent to concentration camps.

Sept. 11, 1973: A military coup in Chile overthrowing the democratically elected president, and massacre of protesters, with the aid of the Black Berets — troups trained by USA for that purpose.

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Sensing solitude

Letter from Allen Best

Wilderness – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


In reviewing the revised edition of the Roderick Nash classic on wilderness, you point out one of the ironies of designated wilderness, namely that designation sometimes (maybe even often) directly correlates with increased visitation and hence loss of solitude. Indeed, the quietest, least-visited places on public lands may be those unsexy leftovers, the BLM lands.

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Nothing honorable about war

Letter from Paul Martz

War on Terrorism – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


There is no honor in war, it is always a dirty business. The object is to kill people, hopefully more combatants who are theoretically able to fight back, than non-combatants. You kill them by any means possible and fair or “honorable” doesn’t enter into it. You’ve seen too many John Wayne movies.

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Grappling with war issues

Letter from Jack Herrick

War on Terrorism – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha,

You certainly can cover a lot of ground, meaningfully, in just a few pages. Your almost “by the way” comment on our leaders (I say Congressmen) having great benefits packages is right on the money. No pun intended.

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Utes and Wildfire

Letter from Virginia Simmons

Wildfire – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Your July issue included a timely article by Allen Best, with a mix of facts and opinions about the history of wildfire in Colorado. Whereas some of the opinions seemed well supported, I wish to point out one which set off some sparks in my head.

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A rational discussion

Letter from Charlie Spielman

Mining – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

Many thanks for your learned, objective, and fair defense of the potential mica mine on Poncha Pass, as well as of mining in general. The mining industry also owes you its sincere appreciation for a rational discussion of the pros and cons regarding a neighboring mining operation.

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Ugly prejudice in Salida

Letter from Marina J. Ettel

Salida – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


People tend to jump on the bandwagon without knowing where it is going and who is driving. Is it the togetherness? The company they share? Or is it one more thing that gets away from people and grows into a monster I call prejudice. I am talking about the trashing of Californians…those damned heathens who are buying up all of our land, houses and by golly, values.

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White-water excellence

Letter from Dave Cruson

Recreation – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha and Ed,

The story by Richard Proboscis (“Bash for Cash, Flips for Tips,” July 2002) was excellent. As a rafter for several summers through Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp (west of Hillside) and as a staff person, I could completely relate to many of Richard’s experiences and stories. I always found the guides to be a bit quirky, yet that’s what made the trips a blast.

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Mears and the Marmots

Letter from Matt Hutson

Marmots – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


As is my sick custom, this evening I am reading the July issue (received today) from cover to cover. The story you remember about Otto Mears hiring marmot killers is related in The Rainbow Route, page 167. It’s during the construction of the extension of the Silverton Northern from Eureka to Animas Forks. Your recollection varies somewhat from this version.

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Love and Hate on Independence Pass

Article by Steve Voynick

Transporttion – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Independence Pass is one of those places that varies radically in the eyes of its beholders. Most folks seem to either love it or hate it. Many Lake and Chaffee county locals love the pass because it’s a fast summertime route to Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. But tourists tend to be divided: some love it as the scenic high point of their Colorado vacations, while others curse it as a never-to-be-driven-again death trap replete with altitude sickness, blind curves, and dizzying drop-offs. Since the pass is notorious for serious automobile accidents, law-enforcement officers hate it. But the pass also brings in tourist dollars, so many Lake County business people love it.

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No more easy water

Column by George Sibley

Water – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Water on the brain. It’s on everyone’s brain, of course, this being the driest year in Colorado in decades, or maybe a century, or maybe since before there was a Colorado — it depends on where you are in Colorado.

As I write this, our stalwart legislature is going into a special session to see what the power of democracy can do about the drought. They will almost certainly consider the idea of indebting us for the foreseeable future for some set of water storage projects; there is already a lot of talk around the state about that — not that such talk ever stops, but a dry spell gives it a lot more oomph.

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Bill Harrington depicts Leadville’s mining history

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Local Artist – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

The light emanating from Bill Harrington’s paintings does more than bathe his work in a rich, mellow glow. It also illuminates Leadville’s equally colorful mining heritage.

For more than 20 years, this third-generation Leadville native has helped preserve scenes of contemporary and frontier-era high country mines, mills, and railroads in meticulous, historically accurate detail.

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KHEN gets a home as fund-raising continues

Brief by Central Staff

Media – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Salida’s proposed community radio station moved closer to getting on the air after a successful fund-raiser on July 5, when seven local bands donated their talents to “Smelterstock.”

As the name indicates, it was supposed to be held in Smeltertown. But the venue was outdoors, and with the extreme danger of wildfires, they moved it to the Steam Plant in downtown Salida, and raised $2,800.

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Parts of Pike Forest re-open after Hayman Fire

Brief by Central Staff

Recreation – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Thanks to the fires and the fire danger, all manner of restrictions have been placed on public lands this summer. Generally, all outside fires have been forbidden.

But some went further. The biggest restriction was the closure of the entire Pike National Forest (essentially, the lands around South Park) on June 28. That didn’t just mean no campfires — it also meant no camping, no hiking, no driving on anything other than state or county roads, and National Guard soldiers on patrol to enforce the ban.

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Different ways of coming under fire

Brief by Central Staff

Old munitions – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Fighting a wildfire is already a dangerous business. There’s the risk of getting caught when a fire flares, which killed firefighters at Storm King in 1994. And even if the fire isn’t nearby, there’s the risk of getting killed by a falling tree, which happened at Missionary Ridge this summer.

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The invasion of the flaggers

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

The journey between Salida and Buena Vista usually takes less than half an hour. This summer, though, it sometimes seems to take an eternity, on account of delays for highway construction.

The delay can get even longer when an idling car overheats and blocks everything behind it until it can be pushed off the road. On the bright side, all those sitting cars could help, in a minor way, with the drought, since every gallon of gas that gets burned will produce about a gallon of water.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Million $

The big story in the Valley is the big fire — the Million Fire, near South Fork. The blaze ate 9,346 acres, with more than 1,200 firefighters battling it at its peak.

Eleven homes were lost, another seven damaged. The start of the blaze has been traced to a load of illegally dumped sod. Authorities are trying to find the culprits.

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Summer water restrictions are all over the map

Brief by Central Staff

Drought – August 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine –

This summer’s drought has led many of our towns, cities, and water districts to restrict outdoor water use — many, but not all.

In general, the farther north and upstream you go, the less likely you are to encounter water restrictions. Go south and downstream, and it gets harder to maintain a lawn or garden.

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Western Water Report: 8 August 2002


In the special session last month the Colorado legislature adopted two measures:

SB 1 by Sen. Owen & Rep. Hoppe, provides $1 million annually from the severance tax trust fund to the Colorado Water Conservation Board during droughts for emergency water augmentation for farmers.

Sen Res 03 by Sen. Tupa, is a non-binding Senate resolution on water conservation calling for a prohibition on covenants mandating bluegrass lawns or banning xeriscaping. It also calls for state agencies and universities to reduce water consumption by 10% by 2010 and to implement landscaping plans using best management practices.

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