A Long Summer on the Pack-Burro racing circuit

Column by Hal Walter

Mountain Life – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s the morning after the Buena Vista pack-burro race, and when I put my feet down off the bed I wasn’t sure that I would be able to stand, much less walk. There’s a sharp pain on the inside of my left ankle and something dull and swollen on the ball of my right foot, a problem I didn’t know I had when I went to bed last night.

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Perhaps we’ll find a cure for our pridefulness

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Culture – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


Here’s a local example of how easy it is to be smug in one’s ignorance and misjudge an alien situation: During Salida Artwalk I sidle up to a mud-show dancer of indeterminate sex and exclaim, “nice legs, lady.” This is a moment of comedy dell’arte, a tradition centuries old, giving the street-actor a chance to engage (or not) in a bit of spontaneous burlesque. Staid passersby, however, get up on their high horse and in all seriousness make me out for a sexist pig, and a prime candidate for their version of thought control. I should engage them in a bit of further burlesque to relieve them of their ignorance of the theatrical heritage of Shakespeare, Moliere, and countless others, but I haven’t the time.

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Just a concidence?

Letter from Ed & Mary Rogers

War on Terrorism – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Hi Ed and Martha,

Just received [the August] Colorado Central. The article read very well and we actually laughed at my own writing. Those win-wins are never a win-win; the taxpayer is always the loser.

Ed your article in the Denver Post was perfect [“Diogenes was looking in the right place, anyway,” July 23.) The higher one goes the less the person gives a damn about integrity and service.

It is our sincere belief that this is what happens. A small privately owned company answers to only one group; the customer. If the customer is not happy that customer comes directly to the source of the problem, you the owner on the other side of the counter.

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Has it happened yet?

Letter from Kate Donithorne

Real-estate – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Editors,

Having recently theorized, was pleased to discover verification in a back issue of Colorado Central #10, December 1994. “Want To Elevate Real-Estate Prices? Geographer says it’s easy; just invite some artists to move into the neighborhood.”

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The Butterfly Effect

Column by George Sibley

Philosophy – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

I keep getting these flashy come-ons from The Economist magazine that say in bold white letters on the front of a big blue envelope: “When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another….”

This decontextualized soundbite, cited as “from Edward Lorenz and Chaos Theory,” bothers me — irritates the hell out of me, in fact.

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San Luis residents get back their grazing rights

Article by Kay Matthews

Land Grants – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

The people of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado had much to celebrate at the July Fiestas de Santa Ana y Santiago: It took 21 years, but they finally won their fight to retain grazing, firewood gathering, and timber harvesting rights on the 79,500-acre Taylor Ranch. On June 24th the Colorado Supreme Court issued a decision granting the landowners, who are the successors in title to the original settlers of the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant, access and use rights on former grant lands now under private ownership.

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Scare stories may be worse than the drought

Essay by Martha Quillen

Drought – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

This year, George Sibley coordinated the 27th annual Colorado Water Workshop at Western State College.

From July 31 to August 2, WSC hosted serious presentations on water law, water policy, environmental issues, and various dams and diversions. The primary subject this year was the history and future of reclamation, but conservation was also addressed, and sarcastic quips about Gunnison’s water wealth were commonplace.

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Big Flash Floods can come from Small Catchments

Article by Paul Martz

Geology – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

With one eye on the storm and running late, I was driving way too fast for conditions. But I needed to catch a shift of drillers before they left a remote drillsite an the southeast flank of the Pilot Mountains east of Mina, Nevada. The drillers had been leaving the site by cutting cross-country, making a new two-track in the process, instead of following the permitted route back to the county road on which I was driving.

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Do Mountain Goats belong here?

Article by Allen Best

Wildlife – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

If tradition is served on the first weekend after Labor Day, 200 to 250 people will draw round their tents and RVs in a large meadow at the base of Mount Shavano. There they will play cribbage and croquet, toss tall tales and horseshoes, chow down on catered food and toast their glasses to the shaggy white mountain goats on high.

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Angela Manno’s Interplanetary Enterprise

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local Artists – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Few artists are good at business. Few business owners are good at marketing. Angela Manno is great at all three, which is how she’s able to spend part of every year in the South of France.

“Next year I’m having a one-woman show near Avignon, and will spend about two months there,” she says. “I was a French major in college, but I never expected I’d be doing this. I intended to be a French teacher.”

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Water reformer wins primary

Brief by Central Staff

Water politics – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Paul Weissmann, a former state senator from Louisville in Boulder County, may be going back to the statehouse. He won the August 13 Democratic primary for legislative House District 12.

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They fought to get in, but now they want to leave

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Two places that big railroads fought over 125 years ago have become places that they don’t seem to care much about today.

The best-known struggle was in the late 1870s between the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé and the Denver & Rio Grande for control of the Royal Gorge. The Rio Grande won, but in 1996 it merged into the Union Pacific, which has halted service on the route. UP doesn’t run west of Cañon City, although there are still trains through the Royal Gorge.

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Packer gets yet another trial

Brief by Central Staff

Colorado History – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

While the prospectors were stranded and starving near Lake San Christobal in early 1874, did Alfred Packer murder his five companions so that he could eat their flesh?

Or was he telling the truth when he said that while he was out hunting, Shannon Bell had butchered the others for meat? Packer confessed to killing Bell, but in self-defense, and to eating human flesh afterward, since they were already dead, there was no game, and the snow was too deep for him to travel.

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Where’s that Valley water going?

Brief by Central Staff

Water – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Many San Luis Valley residents celebrated when Congress agreed to expand Great Sand Dunes National Monument into a national park, since it meant that one plan to export the Valley’s water would go away.

But maybe the Valley is already exporting water. Or so it appears, from this paragraph, discovered by subscriber Charlie Green; it’s from the Colorado Weed Management Association:

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It may be illegal to use every drop

Brief by Central Staff

Drought – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

While it may sound sensible to get the most from every drop of water during this drought, it may be illegal to catch rain from your roof or to pour gray water on your garden.

Custer County residents got a reminder of this at a public forum on July 24, sponsored by the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, both served by the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District.

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Off-beat Pinzgauers go out ‘Treffen’ near Buena Vista

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

If you live in Salida, you’ve likely seen one of these rare vehicles parked on F Street in front of Real American Actionware, which uses them for some deliveries. If you were around Buena Vista on the weekend of July 25-28, you might well have seen a whole caravan of them: boxy high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles known as Pinzgauers.

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No ‘Taste of Salida’ this September

Brief by Central Staff

Local events – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

For the first time in years, Salida will be tasteless this month.

No, this isn’t an issue of aesthetics. It’s an issue of participation, according to Laurie Young at the Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce, which has organized the “Taste of Salida” celebration on a September Saturday since 1999.

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It’s a different river on the other end

Brief by Central Staff

Arkansas River – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

For those of us familiar with only the uppermost portion of the 1,459-mile Arkansas River, the news of May 26 was close to astonishing. Up here (especially this year), the river won’t carry anything bigger than a 20-foot raft, but in Oklahoma the river was big enough to support barges — including one that hit a bridge support.

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Don’t recycle all those old phone books

Brief by Central Staff

Local History – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Salida Regional Library has just opened its Local History Archives, which will serve as a repository and local history research center for Salida and Central Colorado.

Currently the archival collection is small, but it will be open whenever the library is. An inventory of the collection is available on the Archives website at http://www.salidalibrary.org/Arhives/home.htm. Visitors to the Archives should bring a photo ID and be prepared to fill out an Application for Archives Use form.

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Where’s our state senator coming from?

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Does it matter where Ken Chlouber hangs his hat?

He’s a state senator from Leadville, and he’s running for U.S. Congress from Denver. Several people have asked us how the veteran Republican lawmaker can do that, given that there are residency requirements for candidates.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazin

Alamosa County gets legal help

Mountain States Legal Foundation is taking depositions on behalf of Alamosa County in its battle against the feds.

The State Department has accused the county of bias in its practice of electing county commissioners at large, saying that discriminates against Hispanic candidates and voters.

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Just in case you needed something new to worry about

Brief by Central Staff

Geology – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

There’s drought, and there’s wildfire, and if that doesn’t give you enough to worry about, consider earthquakes.

Not that there have been any hereabouts lately — the most recent on record was in the Nathrop area at 2:55 p.m. on March 16, 1985. It registered 3.3 on the Richter Scale (just enough to be noticed without instruments) and caused no known damage; it was felt in Salida.

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They’re our eccentrics so we let them be

Essay by Penelope Reedy

Rural life – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Eccentrics. Every community has them, but out West they seem to take on a unique aura.

Take the Babbington twins, two nearly identical men who lived on a farm on the west end of Camas Prairie, Camas County, Idaho, in the early to mid-part of the 20th century. They did everything together, including dying together in a house fire.

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Western Water Report: 3 September 2002


In a world fast running short of fresh water, a new debate rages: Private companies are free to exploit oil, “black gold,” but what about the infinitely more valuable resource of “blue gold”? Two French companies alone, Suez and Vivendi Environment, supply water to 230 million people around the globe, from U.S. cities like Atlanta to urban centers across the Third <http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2002/08/08202002/ap_48196.asp>

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