From the new and improved Santa Claus

Essay by Lou Bendrick

Christmas – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

To: Residents of Western Region, North America

From: First Assistant to Kris Kringle

THIS COMMUNICATION is to inform you that Christopher Kringle, aka, Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus, henceforth known herein as Mr. Claus, has made several changes to your subscriber service. Mr. Claus will not be arriving by “a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer” this year because of an outbreak of chronic wasting disease. Please note that this outbreak was completely contained, that there was no “dashing,” and affected reindeer, specifically Comet and Cupid, were quarantined. The public was not threatened at any time.

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Western Water Report: December 5, 2002


Inflow to Lake Powell continues to be significantly below average. Unregulated inflow into Lake Powell in September, 2002 was 58 percent of average, in October was 56 percent of average and in November 68 percent of average. Inflow to Lake Powell is expected to remain below average through the winter and early spring. Snowpack in the Colorado River basin is 102 percent of average as of November 27, 2002. Soil moisture deficits persist, and such deficits affect spring snowmelt runoff, reducing runoff efficiency, causing greater amounts of water to be absorbed by the soil. It should be noted that early season snowpack figures are usually not indicative of runoff volumes the following spring.

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Animal medicine for a nostalgic writer

Column by Hal Walter

Livestock – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE SMELL OF BURNING BONE drifted out of the old burro’s mouth as the wire saw, a thin piece of abrasive metal floss with metal rings on each end, ground its way through a tooth deep in the back of Jumpin’ Jack’s mouth. The veterinarian leaned into his business, and when the wire finally cut through the tooth, he nearly pitched over backwards with the released momentum. A chunk of tooth, about the size of the tip of my pinky, lay nearby on the ground. It had been hindering Jack’s ability to chew.

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Reward work, not sleaze

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Modern life – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Will some doomsday weapon be slipped into an American port on a container ship? Seems as likely or as unlikely as any other paranoid scenario dreamed up in the name of patriotism this year. But according to news reports, the major importers are pleading poverty in the face of suggestions that about twenty hours labor per container for inspection might help the nation get a full night’s sleep.

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It’s Hulbert, not Hurlbert

Letter from Mary Jane Rust

Correction – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Thanks for the nice and fair review of Images of Historic Southern Colorado. Now I have to hurl you back a message — the publisher is the Hulbert Center of Colorado College. You wrote “Hurlbert.” It’s not nearly as bad as I did early on in my relationship with the college. I called it “Hull House”, thus locating it in an entirely different city! It seems the center is named, predictably, for the distinguished Professor Archer Butler Hulbert who was at the college from 1920 to 1933.

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Where did the cats come from?

Letter from Marianne Katte

Query – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ed & Martha:

Just finished reading the October Colorado Central and loved the cover, who did that? I was exited to read about the Folsom points and hope you bring an update on that. Also I felt so sorry for Hal Walter about his Fair experiences, we have had some similar duds and thought it was just us. Thanks, made my day.

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Coltan and Red Herrings

Letter from Jim Calvert

Minerals – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Coltan and Red Herrings

Dear Ed,

Mr. Wolfe’s explanation of “red herring” was curious, but I think there is an easier one. A red herring is just a kipper, a smoked herring, which is oily and odoriferous. This is an old word, but still heard in England. They were (and are) used as a drag to train dogs for hunting. A kipper is tied to a string and pulled along a route, with foxy tricks like going across water, or through rocks, or forking, and the dogs are let loose to follow the trail. The dogs are given further instruction if they lose the trail. This makes the term “a red herring” comprehensible as something to divert a pack of journalists from the real affair. These are not the appalling “kippered herring” we get in cans here, but brightly colored split fish, by the way.

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Our suggestions for our place

Review by Central Staff

Books – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

We’ve read most of the books mentioned in the Tattered Cover list. But here are some that we’d suggest for Central Colorado (along with a few outsiders).

For clear, interesting local history, we recommend:

Leadville, a Miner’s Epic, by Stephen M. Voynick.

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Books to match our mountains

Suggestions from the Tattered Cover

Books – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store asked twelve Colorado authors, educators, and land agency workers: What books would you suggest to someone who wants to know more about the heritage, challenges, and wonders of life in the Mountain West?

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Getting it for a song (actually an essay)

Essay by Columbine Quillen

Mountain Life – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE ICE PALACE INN in Leadville could be yours for only $230 — and a bit more.

Giles and Kami Kolakowski, the owners of the Leadville bed and breakfast are sponsoring an essay contest in which the winner will take over the ownership and maintenance of the inn including all of its furnishings. The Kolakowskis say they want to move to Seattle, Washington so that they can be closer to their family — and they have decided that this is the best way to enable someone else to live his or her dream.

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My fellow citizens

Essay by Ray Schoch

Politics – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

CREATING AND MAINTAINING a sense of community is not a concept invented by 21st century Americans. More than two thousand years ago, Plato wrote: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”

And a good many Romans, a few centuries later, agreed with Horace, who wrote: “Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor’s wall is ablaze.”

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Doctrinal Disputes

Essay by Ed Quillen

Water – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

GIVEN THAT THIS YEAR was both an election year and a drought year, it’s rather surprising that water wasn’t more of an issue during the campaigns. There were the usual shibboleths from candidates of all parties about “keeping Colorado water in Colorado,” which were of course vague on how such a thing might be done, or where it might be done, or how much it would cost, or who would pay.

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Making art from metal

Sidebar by Marcia Darnell

Local Artists – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Viewers of Maestas’s sculptures who visualize him working with a giant block of metal, a hammer, and a chisel need to join the new millenium.

A statue does begin with old-fashioned sculpting, but the rest of the process is more akin to a factory cranking out fenders and frames.

“It’s very labor-intensive,” Maestas says. “Each process is quite lengthy.”

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Huberto Maestas: Spiritual Sculptor

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local artists – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

ANYONE WHO HAS ASCENDED past the stations of the cross in San Luis has seen the work of sculptor Huberto Maestas. The 15 larger-than-life statues depict the final journey of Christ for the faithful, and their grace and power provide inspiration even for those whose climb is more a physical workout than a meditation.

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Corporate socialism

Column by George Sibley

Transportation – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

SO WE DID IT: we passed a tax referendum to guarantee that the nation’s major airlines won’t lose money flying into the Gunnison-Crested Butte International Airport.

Now I think it’s time we Americans had a serious discussion about our religion, our strange sacrificial worship at the altar of private enterprise.

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Ranching in ranchette country

Essay by Chris Frasier

Agriculture – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

FROM MY PERCH in the saddle I could see that he was angry, even before the last heifer filed past his mangled wire gate. He paced along the road ditch like he needed to guard his territory from the trailing herd. The half-finished house that he’d been working on all summer loomed over his shoulder like an empty cage, as if a tornado from the land of Oz had dropped it on the hilltop here, where just a few months ago nothing but empty prairie had extended to the horizon.

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Solar is ready, are you?

Article by Dan Bishop

Energy – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

LAST YEAR, A FRIEND of mine bought 35 acres west of Fort Collins and began building his retirement home. One of the first things he did was contract with the local utility company to bring in power. Then, he paid over $18,000 to have power power lines strung from the nearest pole to his building site, and he also had to remove numerous mature trees along his fenceline to accommodate the new lines. Now that my friend has paid a king’s ransom to be securely linked to the power grid, he can expect to receive a fancy utility bill every month for the rest of his life. He will also be subject to occasional weather-related power outages and possible brownouts through the years.

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Alpine tundra also suffers from drought

Brief by Central Staff

Drought – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

We’re all pretty familiar with the effects of the drought on our valleys and hillsides — dry streambeds, ailing trees, brown fields, shrinking reservoirs, empty ditches, watering restrictions, etc.

But what about the highest country, up above timberline? Except for the absence of summer snowbanks, it looked about the same as ever last summer.

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Imported lynx ruining tomcats’ reputation

Brief by Central Staff

Wildlife – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Back in our February edition, writer Allen Best reported that Colorado’s imported lynx were “feeding but not breeding.” According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, that’s still the situation.

In 1999 and 2000, the state imported 96 Canadian lynx and released them along the Continental Divide, from the Vail area south to the San Juans.

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Visits down at San Dunes

Brief by Central Staff

Tourism – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

We often hear that tourism was off last summer, and now we’ve got confirmation from some official U.S. government statistics.

As of the end of October, only 227,648 visitors had entered Great Sand Dunes National Monument. For the same period in 2001, there were 269,634 admissions.

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The New Activism

Brief by Martha Quillen

Activism – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Let Nothing You Dismay

This year’s Headwaters Conference at Western State College was about action. But those who arrived expecting to hear from NAFTA protesters, Seattle marchers, or fervent activists — like the controversial Glenn Morris who once again made Denver’s Columbus Day celebrations memorable — were doomed to disappointment.

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Our answers to some common questions

Brief by Central Staff

Colorado Central – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

This seems as good a place as any to answer some questions we’ve been asked more than once, so:

Q. Why don’t you send out renewal notices by email, when possible, rather than post cards or letters?

A. Because we’d have to keep track of a subscriber’s email address, as well as his postal address.

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New land trust looking for members

Brief by Central Staff

Conservation Easements – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

New Land Trust looking for members

The new Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas is holding a membership drive.

What does it do? Local land trusts are set up to acquire and manage conservation easements, which are essentially the development rights, on rural real estate. The idea is that the land can stay in agricultural production, or as open space or the like.

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Central Colorado shows no real pattern in 2002 voting

Brief by Central Staff

Election – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

On the national and state levels, this year’s election had a pattern — basically, a Republican sweep. But in Central Colorado, some Democrats got elected, as did a lot of Republicans. Some tax increases passed, others failed, some term limits were retained while others were eliminated — in other words, we’re a diverse lot.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Water Levies

Yes, it’s levies, not levees, as the Rio Grande Water Conservation District wants to reduce water usage during the continuing drought. The district will divide the San Luis Valley regions into sub-districts and impose levies based on water rights of those properties. Water attorney David Robbins is checking into whether a public vote is needed for such action.

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Leadville’s dogged reputation

Brief by Central Staff

Animals – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

We were talking to a friend in Leadville a couple of weeks ago, when she interrupted herself: “Oh no, a TV satellite truck just pulled up in front of the courthouse. What is it this time?”

Leadville has been getting a lot of dog-related publicity lately, none of it good, and this was another segment. First there was the deputy sheriff who took a dog to the dump and shot it, but failed to kill it.

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Arkansas River Basin Forum planned in March

Brief by Central Staff

Water – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine –

Arkansas River Basin Forum planned in March

This doesn’t happen until March, but given the current water situation, you might want to make plans now. The event is the annual Arkansas River Basin Water Forum, which covers the river and its issues from Climax to Lamar.

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