The winter of my discontent

Column by Hal Walter

Mountain life – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

IMAGINE THAT your geographical environment — the place that you live — is a bi-polar psychotic with a tendency towards violence. I came up with that analogy after a particularly loathsome period during this winter of my discontent. I do not feel guilty borrowing this concept since Steinbeck originally stole it from Shakespeare, and as far as I know neither of them ever did a winter in the Wet Mountains. As for me, I’m on the verge of insanity in my 10th winter here.

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How to spell ski-joring?

Sidebar by Lynda La Rocca

Leadville – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine –

So is it ski joring, skijoring, or ski-joring?

Take your pick. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) lists it as one word, from the Norwegian skikjøring (ski plus kjøring, or “driving”).

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Crystal Carnival has died, but ski-joring lives on

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Leadville – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

AS THE SONG SAYS, the times, they are a-changin’ — in Leadville as in many other small Colorado communities.

While the Crystal Carnival, Leadville’s traditional winter celebration, is now little more than a name and a memory, skijoring is still going strong.

And 2002 promises to be another year of thrills and chills for this wildest and weirdest of mountain sports.

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Headwaters Hill is a special triple divide

Letter from Dale Sanderson

Geography – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


A few comments regarding Ken Stitzel’s letter (“More Triple Divides”) in the February issue:

He is correct in his identification of the three “corners” of the Closed Basin. As you and I discussed during one of the naming hikes, if one considers the Continental Divide to be a single line separating Atlantic from Pacific, then that line technically does not exist between Headwaters Hill and “Point 13,628.”

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Can’t converse with a bomb

Letter from Slim Wolfe

War on terrorism – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Martha Q.,

By golly Martha, you’re absolutely right. What else can we do but have ourselves another little war? We are human, after all, and it’s our duty to be more destructive than Kudzu. Does it matter that a terrorist can slip over into Siberia and set up housekeeping, doesn’t really need a large facility for making bombs and Anthrax, just a couple of rooms and some communications equipment to train suicide squads, not even a pistol?

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Driven to desperation?

Letter from Dick Conway

The War on Terrorism – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha,

I’ve been upset ever since I read your essay, “We’ve got to learn how to talk about this war” in the February issue. I just didn’t think that someone with your perspective — you always seem to see things so clearly from Salida — would call the heinous acts of September 11 “an unprovoked attack on the United States.”

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More like thistles in the field than varmints in their holes

Letter from Peter Anderson

The war on terrorism – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha:

Thanks for your invitation to begin discussing the current war in a forthright way. I appreciated your candor in stating your own views.

Open discussion of our response to 9-11 has not been prevalent. Part of that I think has to do with the call to unity which seems to have squelched any meaningful consideration of the issues. I wish dissent and an invitation to discuss the issues from all vantage points were part of the call for unity.

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We need to learn how to wage peace

Letter from Bob Cross

The war on terrorism – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Bravo! Honest and Open debate IS a cornerstone of our democracy and as citizens we are required to participate. If we rely on the pundits and the pollsters, we will never develop a national resolve to properly address the consequences of the fact that some people in the world hate us. It is my hope that this time around, the debate will focus on revealing the principles that are at cause rather than just become part of the rhetoric used to manipulate voters.

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They might roll in the grave

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Public lands – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

I’ve enjoyed your many articles on Federal Lands use. John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt might roll over in the grave to think the hikers might have to team up with the ATV crowd in the name of wilderness preservation. Personally I’d vote for exemptions for some of the smaller, locally-owned sawmills and mines, almost as living historical districts, and let them steal a few dollars from the corporate tills, these might be easier to regulate than a Disneyfied Forest Entertainment Industry, though they might not produce the same revenue.

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What Christo is doing while Charlie’s waiting

Letter from Eldon Rush

Arts – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Editor,

“The Christos have created some of the most breathtaking works of the 20th century using fabric in, over, through, and around natural and constructed forms” according to Earl A. Powell, Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In this great national treasure will be exhibited, February 3 through June 23, 2002, the first comprehensive survey in the United States of four decades of the art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

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Communication adventures

Letter from Charlie Green

Telecommunications – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ed (or Martha):

The article in the February issue about the San Luis Valley getting DSL prompted this diatribe. Unlike Salida and environs, the San Luisians and I have the same telephone provider: CenturyTel (Company motto: You’ll get your service when we get the subsidy check).

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A couple of artists: Tammie and Dave LaVercombe

Article by Columbine Quillen

Artists – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

SALIDA ARTISTS Tammie and Dave Lavercombe offer a diversity of art, from bright colorful landscapes, to wood and paper-maché sculptures, to elegant silver jewelry. They are one another’s biggest fans and they create an atmosphere in their home and studio that welcomes creativity and encourages admiration not only for one another’s art but for the beautiful world that inspires them.

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Hey, they did something right, for a change

Essay by Ed Quillen

Salida politics – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

TO BE HONEST, I don’t usually pay much attention to the city government. As long as it delivers water, conveys sewage, plows streets, extinguishes fires, and maintains some degree of public order, then I’m quite willing to devote my attention to other matters. Indeed, when I gave serious thought to running for mayor in 1997, my proposed campaign slogan was “A government you can turn your back on.”

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Mel Coleman: A better trail ahead

Article by Steve Voynick

Agriculture – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN A LIFELONG RANCHER passes on, it seems almost obligatory to bring up the well-worn metaphor about “the end of the trail.” But in the case of Mel Coleman, the Saguache rancher whose name is synonymous with natural beef, the phrase doesn’t really fit. That’s because in his life, when Mel came to the end of any trail, he never stopped or turned back; instead, he looked ahead to find an alternative route. When Mel died on February 3, that was one of the things he left behind — an alternative route that is making an impact on life in the West.

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In Aspinall Country

Column by George Sibley

Colorado politics – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN COLORADO STATE SENATOR Lew Entz, of the San Luis valley, gave Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, also from the San Luis valley, a $50,000 hug late in January, the strange dichotomy of Colorado politics was on display.

The occasion was Salazar’s announcement that he was going to run for another term as Attorney General. Sen. Entz was there and gave him a hug and a bottle of San Luis valley water.

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WSC names president

Brief by Central Staff

Education – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Western State College in Gunnison didn’t waste any time in naming a new president after Dr. Harry Peterson, who announced plans to retire effective Feb. 15.

Jay Helman, vice-president for academic affairs at Western, was named president on Feb. 8 by the Board of Trustees. Peterson had been president of Western since 1996.

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Baca Ranch sale not quite a done deal

Brief by Central Staff

Public lands – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

One major hurdle to the expansion of Great Sand Dunes National Park may have been cleared, although it’s too early to be sure.

That hurdle was the 100,000-acre Baca Ranch south of Crestone. The plan was for the Nature Conservancy to buy it, then sell it to the federal government. Part of the ranch would be added to the national park, while other acreage would become a national wildlife refuge.

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And if you want a map with Kokomo on it

Brief by Central Staff

Geography – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Curious about the Colorado of 1894? Then the U.S. Geological Survey has just republished a map that should answer a few questions.

The map, originally developed by the Caxton Co. and published by James McConnell School Supplies of Denver, had languished in the archives of the Library of Congress for years before it was discovered last summer by Peggy Ellis, who was on vacation in Washington, D.C., from her regular work at the U.S. Geological Survey in Lakewood.

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Kokomo: Smaller than a small town?

Brief by Central Staff

Geography – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

If you’re somewhat into politics, you’ve doubtless heard of Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President George Walker Bush.

Rove was born in Denver (on Christmas Day, 1950), and spent some of his boyhood in Colorado. His father was a geologist and the family moved often; after stints in Utah and Nevada, Rove moved to Texas in 1977, and operated there as a political consultant until he moved to Washington with the Bush administration.

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2002 torch run inspires memories of 1984 passage

Brief by Central Staff

Olympics – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine –

On Feb. 1, the Olympic Torch came through Central Colorado on its way to the Feb. 8 opening of the winter games in Salt Lake City. Along the way, it drew big crowds at celebrations in Buena Vista and Leadville, where burro racer Tom Sobal carried the torch on snowshoes.

Winter Olympic torch going through Buena Vista on Feb. 1, 2002

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FCC grants license for Salida Community Radio

Brief by Central Staff

Media – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

It appears that Salida will be getting a low-power community FM radio station. Local organizers received a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission dated Jan. 11, and they have 18 months from then to get their station built and on the air.

Nationally, only 500 licenses were issued and there were thousands of applicants, according to Eric Sampson, who serves on the board of Tenderfoot Transmitting, the non-profit group who will hold the license.

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Chlouber may be running for congress

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ken Chlouber of Leadville, a Republican and the state senator for much of Central Colorado, may be gearing up for a run for Congress.

That’s hardly a surprise, since Chlouber has been climbing the political ladder for nearly 20 years, from Lake County commissioner to state representative to state senator.

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One-act plays sought for Crystal Mountain contest

Brief by Central Staff

Local Drama – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

If you live or study in Colorado, you’re eligible to enter the fourth annual one-act play competition sponsored by the Crystal Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Westcliffe.

The contest is called “New Colorado Voices 2002,” and five one-act plays will be recognized. The top two will be produced on stage at the Jones Theater on Aug. 16 and 17, and their playwrights will receive $200 cash prizes. Three other plays will receive honorable mentions.

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When anatomy meets geography

Brief by Central Staff

Small town life – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Since the days of the Great Depression, Salida has billed itself as “the Heart of the Rockies.”

That’s a safe body part, especially if you consider the fate of Lorrie Baumann, who used to be the editor of the Battle Mountain Bugle in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Next season elk hunters will be allowed to kill two animals, as long as one of them is antlerless. It seems the recession affected the number of elk tags sold last year, resulting in too many of the critters left to fight over the food supply. DOW also taketh away, however, banning the use of smokeless powder during muzzleloading season.

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Going to great depths to rescue a malamute

Brief by Central Staff

Mountain rescue – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

We often read of dogs rescuing people, but sometimes it works the other way — and in this case, the dog was 110 feet underground at the bottom of an old mine shaft above Leadville.

The story started on Jan. 18, when Joseph Thompson, a 26-year-old Leadville resident, went cross-country skiing on Ball Mountain. He had some company: his 4-year-old malamute named Tungka Moo.

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Coming soon to a neighborhood near you?

Essay by Mary Sojourner

Development – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

LUPINE LODGE. Del Mar at the Sea. Massive Mountain Manor. Harbor House at the Pines. I have changed the names to protect the ostentatious; to protect those who not only must own four luxury homes in four different places, but also pick registered names for them.

I didn’t think I was capable of being surprised at any excess of the rich and insecure, but the article in the Phoenix, Ariz., paper rocked me.

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Western Water Report: 4 March 2002


Snowpack shows little improvement. The following are percentage of average. South Platte, 53%; Laramie/North Platte, 61%; Arkansas, 64%; Upper Rio Grande, 44%; Gunnison, 53%; Upper Colorado, 70%; Roaring Fork, 65%; Yampa/White, 66%; Dolores/San Miguel, 51%; San Juan, 35%; Animas, 37%; Upper Green, 72%; Duchesne, 56%; Price/San Rafael, 53%; Muddy/Fremont/Escalante, 53%; Colorado above Lake Powell, 59%.

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