Paying attention to the natural world

Column by Hal Walter

Wildlife – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

EARLY THIS SUMMER, while we were nesting inside with our new child Harrison, a family of bluebirds moved into the fan-vent on the sunny side of the house.

The flap that covered the pipe had become cracked and warped from years of exposure. A gust of wind apparently had blown the flap open and it had stuck open long enough for the birds to move in, build a nest and hatch a family. In between the crying of our own child, we could hear the peeping and cheeping of the bluebirds in our walls as the parents left and returned with insects crosswise in their beaks.

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Louise Peterson of Guffey: Sculpting great danes

Article by Sunnie Sacks

Local Arts – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

“Danes are my love and sculpting is my passion,” says Guffey artist Louise Peterson. Peterson has used her Great Danes, Bella and Nandi (Nandi died earlier this year), as models for her award winning bronze and pewter sculptures.

But dogs were not always the subject of her work. More than a decade ago, Louise Peterson attended sculpture classes at several community colleges in Southern California, and her models were the more common, human variety. But after Louise and her husband Chris moved to Colorado, the artist was unable to find figure models to use in her work.

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Colorado water

Essay by Martha Quillen

Water – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

DURING THE LAST WEEK OF July, Ed and I attended the 29th annual Colorado Water Workshop at Western State College (better known in our house as George’s water conference), an annual forum for water professionals, including water lawyers, scientists, technologists, managers, and engineers. Participants addressed a question that has been the subject of much discourse recently: Is our drought over?

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Quinoa: a 21st-century food from the Andes

Article by Douglas Larsen

Agriculture – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

BACK IN BOSTON in the mid-seventies, I was a young Turk cutting my teeth in the culinary world, and we served seasonal, mostly local and organic food. We offered New England cuisine with a Japanese touch. (This was before “regional” and “fusion” became culinary buzzwords.)

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The return of the Colorado Blowfish

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Media – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine


The August edition Slimbo Award, Return of the Colorado Blowfish, goes to the correspondent who wrote in to cross sabers with Martha’s editorial. The universe is an immensely baffling place, and we blowfish feel less threatened if we can puff ourselves up. But pride in self looks unseemly and Texan-like, so we resort to deflected pride. We praise our school, our church, our team, our nation, when what we really mean to say is I’m the Greatest. We keep ourselves in denial that our nation consists of about 300 million lumps of protoplasm with about three hundred million opinions of what America is, and is never lacking in scoundrels. We bask in trickle-down pride just like puffed up Frenchmen or Egyptians or anyone else. My dog don’t stink.

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Looking forward to more

Letter from Neil Reich

Colorado Central – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

Just a note to let you know how much I am enjoying your magazine, Colorado Central. Many of the articles have been of special interest, including the one about the location and naming of sidings on early Colorado railroads. A designation that comes to mind from this topic is “blind siding,” denoting a meeting place for trains where there is no depot and no operator on duty. Today almost all meeting points between towns are blind sidings.

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Ancient myths and modern reality

Column by George Sibley

Water – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

MY MOST DAUNTING TASK as Western State College’s “Coordinator of Special Projects” is pulling together the college’s annual summer Water Workshop, a cat-herding exercise that chases me all over the state to make deals with really busy people who are very serious about what is arguably the most important nexus of issues in the state, or the West. The world, for that matter.

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Creed de Avanzar

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local arts – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE HOUSE OF CREED is a hidden treasure. It’s hard to find but worth the trek — a cozy home with an impressive array of musical tools, including several varieties of drums, keyboards, speakers, synthesizers, and other electronic tune-makers. Floating amid this sea of aural delights are books, papers, and original art pieces, many his own. A poster of Malcolm X faces another promoting Earth Day.

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Back to school (with a twist)

Article by Margaret Rush

Education – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

SNOW-TOPPED MOUNTAINS peek into my office window. Green pine trees sway gently in the wind. Billowy clouds slowly ease in and out of my view, partly filling the blue sky. When we left the hub-bub of the city many years ago, Salida is where we chose to sink our roots.

But not all has been right for me in paradise. It’s not that I’m tired of the sweet smell of wildflowers, or the damp softness of a hiking trail beneath my feet. Far from it. Crisp sharp air off fresh snow thrills me more than ever.

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Essay by Kay Matthews

Modern Life – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN I TOLD CHELLIS GLENDINNING my terrible tale of trying to help my neighbors register their small business on a centralized government website, she said, “That’s techno-fascism, and it’s rampant.”

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Private enterprise

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

A former state representative from Wetmore has found a new career in Los Angeles. He’s in charge of distribution for an adult-entertainment company.

But there are all sorts of ways to define family values according to Larry Schwartz.

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Colorado’s own flammable waterway

Brief by Central Staff

Environment – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

One event often credited with starting the environmental movement happened on June 22, 1969. The Cuyahoga River, which flows in Ohio and empties into Lake Erie, caught fire near downtown Cleveland. More precisely, a floating oil slick ignited, sending flames 50 feet high and damaging two railroad trestles.

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Beneath the surface at the Lost Mine

Brief by Central Staff

Roadside Attractions – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

As Colorado mines go, the Lost Mine above Wellsville was both typical and unusual. Typical in that it wasn’t very big and it ran for only a few years; unusual because it produced manganese and tungsten, rather than gold, silver, coal, lead, zinc, or molybdenum.

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Regional Roundup

Brief by Ed Quillen

Local events – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ursine Perambulations

Quite a few bear visits or sightings have been reported in and near Crestone this summer. Most of the bruins stayed outside, though they sniffed around gardens or beehives, but one invaded a house and emptied the pantry and freezer. House-sitter Mary Lowers told the Eagle that “The bear ate lots of frozen meat; there were T-bone steak bones everywhere, even out on the porch.”

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They weren’t talking about us

Brief by Central Staff

Rural life – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

The August 2 edition of the Wall Street Journal had an article about the Applebee’s restaurant chain. Unlike its major competitors, like Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, and Ruby Tuesday, the Applebee company has been expanding into the small cities of rural markets.

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Florissant selects a four-legged mayor

Brief by Central Staff

Small-town politics – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

There’s the settlement of Guffey in southeastern Park County, where the unofficial mayor is a cat. Only 28 miles away, there’s another spot with a four-legged “mayor” — Florissant.

Paco Bell, a donkey, won a second term on July 24, defeating three other contenders: a white burrow named Birdie, and two no-shows, one absent because of colic and the other unable to come because the trailer was broken.

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Despite service problems, UP keeps our line closed

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

The rails remain in place on the Tennessee Pass line from Cañon City through the Royal Gorge to Salida and north to Buena Vista, Leadville (actually, Malta), Minturn and Dotsero.

But years have passed since a train crossed the line. When the Union Pacific acquired the Southern Pacific in 1996, the Denver & Rio Grande Western was part of the deal, and the UP proposed to abandon the slow and high Tennessee Pass line because its other routes could handle the traffic.

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Now, Gunnison wants a brand

Brief by Central Staff

Marketing – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Chaffee County hired a marketing consultant and became the Headwaters of Adventure, and now Gunnison County is going through the same process, according to a press release from Denver-based Ideas of the Mind, a full-service integrated marketing and communications agency servicing the specialized needs of the travel and tourist industry, which has been engaged to develop a new brand and logo.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Sierra Sells Again

The Taylor Ranch, aka La Sierra, has new owners. Two Texas couples, Bobby and Dottie Hill and Richard and Kelly Welch, bought the 77,000-acre parcel from Lou Pai. The couple own an adjoining ranch near Trinidad.

In June a district judge reaffirmed the right of some local residents to gather wood on the land, after decades of fighting. The new owners have already established friendly relations with the locals, talking with community members and firing the ranch hands who had put up fences and threatened residents.

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Modern moats to keep us rabble out

Brief by Central Staff

Mountain Life – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Where can the moneyed elite enjoy their vacations without being disturbed by us rabble? They used to go to upscale resorts like Aspen, but there’s a new trend, according to an article in the July 24 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

The trend? Build a new private resort with its own air strip, ski lift, golf course, and the like, then hire a full-time staff to handle everything from security at the gatehouse to teaching the children to whittle while their parents are skiing or fishing.

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Now it’s different

Essay by Louise Wagenknecht

Western Politics – September 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

EVERY WINTER my brother Tom goes to a muzzleloader shoot in central Oregon, where he camps out in a large tent, dons his feathered hat and buckskin leggings and fringed jacket, and shoots his black powder rifle at targets tucked away in the junipers and sagebrush.

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