Hard and Soft America

Column by George Sibley

Politics – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, and all kinds of wild cards are coming out in what could be lumped together as “the American media” — those conduits through which our public and private discussions and arguments are channeled and shaped into what communications analyst James Carey called “the conversation of the culture.”

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20 years in Buena Vista, and a big Temptation

Article by Sue Snively

Local Artist – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

IT IS CALLED Temptation of St. Anthony, and at first glance it seems to be a standard landscape. Behind the sand dunes the Sangre de Cristo peaks of Crestone and Crestone Needle loom in the background, framed against a rather dramatic sky.

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Finding Fault

Essay by Martha Quillen

Modern life – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

T.S. Eliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month.” Whereas I would have said May. But Eliot went on:

“…breeding,

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.”

So maybe Eliot’s April is our May. After all, we do tend to be a little behind here in Central Colorado. By the time our lilacs bloom, the rest of the country is adorning statues with red poppies fashioned out of crepe paper.

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The America we live in

Letter from Robert Loewe

Politics – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

I knew instantly that one of the headlines in your June issue, “What America Are We Living In Now?” would end up attached to my refrigerator. Those six words connect with most things I witness when I leave my mountain cocoon weaving-piano-studio-cabin and drive Highway 24 to Colorado Springs.

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Deep aquifers may be all that’s left

Sidebar by Martha Quillen

Water – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

We’ve heard it declared that the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District once tried to grab all of the groundwater in the Wet Mountain Valley, but that’s not exactly true. In reality, Round Mountain tried to claim the “non-tributary” underground water in the valley.

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Augmentation

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

Water – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

When you’re discussing water in Colorado, nothing is simple, and augmentation is no exception. The Colorado Foundation for Water Education defines it as “Replacing the quantity of water depleted from the stream system caused by an out-of-priority diversion. When adjudicated and operated to replace depletions to the stream system, the out-of-priority diversion may continue even though a call has been placed on the stream by senior decreed rights.”

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Wet Mountain Water War

Article by Rayna Bailey

Water – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Despite sharing a similar purpose, the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District in Custer County, which was founded in 1969, and the younger Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, in Salida, which was founded in 1979, have always had a love-hate relationship marked by court battles and uneasy truces, but also periods of mutual support.

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Climax: Two decades later

Article by Steve Voynick

Mining – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

ON FEBRUARY 16, 2004, it seemed that the off-and-on-again rumors of the past 20 years had finally come true. The headline of a front-page, above-the-fold article in The Denver Post announced “Leadville Taps Vein of Hope.” An accompanying color photo showed a cluster of earth-colored mill buildings set against snow-covered, open-pit benches on the side of Ceresco Ridge — a signature image of the Climax Mine. More than a few folks probably glanced at that headline and thought of skipping work at Copper Mountain or Vail to rush up to the mine on Monday morning to fill out employment applications.

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Not quite an aberration

Sidebar by Martha Quillen

Mountain Life – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editor’s Note:

Allen Best introduces the idea of mountain mavericks wanting to do whatever they please. But we’d like to point out that Marvin Heemeyer wasn’t an aberration in being far more furious about what his neighbors were able to do than about what he could not.

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Looking at the dark side of paradise

Article by Allen Best

Mountain Life – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

TO MANY OF US who know Granby, or even mountain towns in general, the bizarre type of explosion that happened there was surprising, but the explosion itself was not. In case anyone has forgotten, which seems doubtful, Marvin Heemeyer, who had once owned a muffler shop in the town, tried to demolish Granby by knocking down the newspaper office, library, town hall, Gambles, an electric co-operative, concrete plant, bank, and private home with an armor-plated bulldozer on June 4.

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Bench shuffles

Brief by Central Staff

Judiciary – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ken Plotz of Salida, chief judge of the 11th Judicial District, will not stand for another six-year term this year. (Colorado judges are appointed by the governor, then face public votes on their retention at regular intervals.)

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Abandoned llamas get rounded up on Western Slope

Brief by Central Staff

Livestock – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Every once in a while, a range cow manages to escape the herd and take up the feral life around here, and elsewhere in the West, there are herds of wild burros and horses — domestic animals gone wild.

So perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that llamas could act the same way.

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Regional roundup

Brief by Ed Quillen

Local News – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Natural Remedy?

The State Health Department has issued numerous warnings about West Nile Virus, which is carried by one species of mosquito. Colorado residents (at least those below about 10,000 feet) are advised to wear insect spray containing DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamid), except that small children shouldn’t put DEET on their skin.

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West Nile struggle resumes

Brief by Central Staff

Public Health – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s summer time, and once again, there’s a hazard: West Nile Virus. It is carried by the Culex tarsalis mosquito, which feeds around dusk and dawn, and lives in standing water.

Already, one infected mosquito has been found in Chaffee County. Last year, seven Chaffee residents caught West Nile, and the Colorado Department of Health fears that this year could be worse than 2003, when 63 Coloradans died from the virus.

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Rep. Carl Miller appointed to Colorado PUC

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

State Rep. Carl Miller, a Leadville Democrat, will be leaving office a little early. Gov. Bill Owens has appointed him to a four-year term on the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Miller was elected to his first term in 1996, and was re-elected in 1998, 2000, and 2002. His 61st district originally stretched from Leadville into the San Luis Valley, but redistricting after the 2000 census changed it to Lake, Summit, and Eagle counties.

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Congressional candidates emerge

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some political races are starting to solidify, now that both the Republicans and Democrats have held their state assemblies.

But before we get to candidates, let’s look at the congressional districts. After the 2000 census, Colorado got a new U.S. House seat, and congressional districts had to be redrawn.

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Something new to cheer for?

Brief by Central Staff

Rodeos – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s rodeo season, and thousands of people in Central Colorado will go to arenas to cheer on their favorite cowboys in the demanding and dangerous sport of bull-riding.

Or perhaps the fans will be cheering for the livestock, according to a story in the May 25 edition of The Wall Street Journal.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Snow Suit

The owners of Wolf Creek Ski Area have filed suit in federal court against the Village at Wolf Creek, which has plans to develop the area. The ski area owners accuse the developers of trying to destroy the area with a 2,000-unit village; the developers accuse the ski area of violating a 1999 agreement regarding plans for the village.

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Two companies with Leadville roots merge

Brief by Central Staff

History – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Two companies with pioneer Leadville roots were in the news recently, with one agreeing to purchase the other. Both are department store chains; and neither currently operates in Central Colorado.

On June 9, the May Co., headquartered in St. Louis, agreed to purchase the Marshall Field chain for $3.24 billion from Target.

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The beavers are back

Essay by Bill Croke

Wildlife – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

AT A RECENT BARBECUE on the South Fork of the Shoshone River, I saw a huge beaver floating in the river’s current like a big dog. The beaver looked to be about three feet long from nose to flat tail, and must have weighed 40 pounds. It had a huge, whiskered head that reminded me of a Scottish terrier.

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Western Water Report: July 7, 2004

HYDROLOGY REPORT

While moisture in the Colorado mountains has brought Denver’s municipal water storage up to 93% of capacity, the Colorado River Basin storage has not fared so well. The Bureau of Reclamation is estimating the 2004 water year inflows to Lake Powell to be 42% of average. This follows the four previous years of 62, 59, 25 and 51% inflows. As of June 14th Lake Powell storage was at 43% capacity. Blue Mesa and Flaming Gorge reservoirs are at just under 70% capacity.

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