Curtis Imrie dances with semi on New Year’s Day

Column by Hal Walter

Local Legends – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

CURTIS IMRIE DIED in a spectacular automobile accident New Year’s Day, 2005 — just ask him.

Following are the facts as supplied by the 57-year-old “deceased,” well known in Central Colorado circles for making somewhat quixotic (although the image of a squire on a mule is somewhat fitting, my dictionary defines this word as meaning “extravagantly idealistic”) runs at public office, winning the World Championship pack-burro race three times, and producing artsy independent films. He has also been a friend of mine for nigh on 25 years.

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Redneck hippies and the creative class

Column by George Sibley

Local Prospects – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

THERE’S A LOT OF BUZZ these days about a “Creative Class.” This alleged socioeconomic class is the discovery of Richard Florida, a professor of Regional Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon U. in Pittsburgh, one of my old alma maters (I schlepped around in my school years).

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If you’re going to Sparrows

Sidebar by Lynda La Rocca

Poetry – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

If You Go :

Tickets for the 2005 Sparrows: Colorado’s Performance Poetry Festival cost $10 for each evening performance (Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26); $15 per individual workshop; $5 each for the Poets’ Party and Poets’ Reception, February 24 and February 27.

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Sparrows: the festival keeps getting better

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Poetry – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

SO HAS IT REALLY BEEN just five years since Sparrows: Colorado’s Performance Poetry Festival first burst upon the local poetry scene?

It’s already hard to remember a Salida winter without Sparrows, which has grown into a four-day gathering of poets and poetry lovers who come together to celebrate the written and spoken word in humorous, dramatic, memorable, original — and most of all, entertaining — ways.

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Priscilla Fowler: Abstractions from nature

Article by Rayna Bailey

Local Artist – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

WILDLIFE, deer, elk, rabbits, bobcats, eagles, hawks, and the landscape, forests, mountains, meadows, wildflowers, make the Wet Mountain Valley a desirable place for artists. And regardless of their preferred medium, most artists working in and around Westcliffe look out of their windows and paint or draw what they see, beautiful landscapes, wild animals, and occasionally, buffalo or cattle.

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Why the Jews emigrated

Sidebar by Martha Quillen

Local History – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Assuming that we couldn’t be the only ones with scant knowledge of Jewish/Russian history and culture, we thought we’d expand on some of the things Nancy Oswald refers to in her article.

By the time the Cotopaxi colonists arrived, Russia had a very long history of repressing Jews. In 1791, Catherine II restricted Jewish residents to an area called “the Pale of Settlement.” Jews paid higher taxes, couldn’t lease land, run taverns, or obtain equal educations. In 1827, Nicholas I established the Cantonist Decrees which called for the conscription of Jewish boys between the ages of 12 and 18, to serve in the military for a period of twenty-five years, during which time, every effort would be made to convert them to Christianity.

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Hard Times: The Jewish colony at Cotopaxi

Article by Nancy Oswald

Local History – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

ON MAY 8, 1882 a group of Jewish Russian immigrants disembarked from the train at Cotopaxi to establish an agricultural colony. They thought they were leaving the hardships of Tzarist Russia behind, but as it turned out they were exchanging the privations of “home” for new hardships, which included non-arable land, broken promises, and the difficulty of living in a culture where language, religion, and terrain were foreign and inhospitable.

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The Tool Trap

Essay by Ed Quillen

Modern Life – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, I knew guys who loved to work on their cars. They spent so much time on their cars that they seldom had time to drive anywhere, and often, their cars were in various states of assembly and disassembly which meant they couldn’t be driven anyway. As hobbies go, that’s no worse than many and better than some, but it rather defeats the whole purpose of the car: to get you from one place to another.

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More news about land preservation

Sidebar by Marcia Darnell

Land Use – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Preservation is, ironically, the hot new trend. Land trusts, easements, and other means of maintaining open space, wildlife, and historic landmarks are growing, especially in rural Colorado.

In addition to the Everson Ranch saved by the Orient Land Trust, other good land in the San Luis Valley is being preserved from development.

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LTUA manages small parcels for wildlife corridors

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

Land Use – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas (LTUA), which works in Lake, Chaffee, and Frémont counties, will turn four this year, and it now holds 12 conservation easements that cover about 800 acres.

A conservation easement is in some respects like other easements. A utility company, for instance, might purchase an easement from a property owner so it can run a power line across the property.

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Sheep don’t need a Bill of Rights

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Church and State – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


Maybe when we’re looking at schools, religion, and the first amendment we should fully define the terms. “Respecting an establishment of religion….” Well, if you don’t prohibit the free exercise thereof, aren’t you in a sense respecting? And what is religion? The study and promulgation of belief systems or a bunch of colorful displays and popular tunes? And if religion is well enough established to maintain millions worth of real estate, does it need to further establish itself through taxpayer-funded schools whose attendance is compulsory (except for the right or the diligent?). Maybe if some of our religions didn’t have such a consistent history of conquest and conversion and persecution of dissidents we wouldn’t find such a bad taste in our mouths at the very thought of them.

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Watch out for those seiche waves

Letter from Paul Martz

Geology – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


The Boxing Day tsunami which resulted from an offshore earthquake is not something we in Central Colorado would ordinarily have to worry about. However, there is an earthquake related type of event that can occur in our lakes and reservoirs.

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On the verge of offense

Letter from Peter O’brien

Colorado Central – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha and Ed,

We enjoy the intelligent writing and choice of subject matter in the magazine. I’ve been on the verge of responding to some of your letters from the editors and correspondence etc., but unfortunately my natural reticence and time constraints have kept me from doing so so far. Keep up the good work in times like these.

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The lore of the Cornbinder

Letter from Robert Lawson

Machinery – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


As an owner of several “Cornbinders” over the years I wanted to comment on your brief write-up of the new Navistar 7300 CXT (December 2004). This vehicle is indeed very big and will no doubt end up being driven by a few athletes and affluent types — strictly as a status symbol. There is a real market for this type of vehicle, for example, those with large fifth-wheel campers and business owners requiring a vehicle with more capability than a 1 ton truck. Ford, GMC, Freightliner (and maybe others) are also offering trucks in roughly this size.

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More about woda and wòdka

Letter from Dick Bulinski

Water – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine


In his fine article about sources of water and the risks of contamination and pollution of those supplies, John Mattingly touches on the derivation of the name vodka.

This is a very trivial addendum to what he wrote. Voda is Russian for Water. As is true in so many instances, there are cognates in related languages. These comments relate to the Polish names. In the Polish language, water is woda — really, the same name if one remembers that there is no v in the Polish alphabet, and that w is always pronounced v.

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Regional Roundup

Briefs by Martha Quillen

Regional Roundup – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Weather Woes

A change in Central Colorado’s weather has brought both welcome moisture and additional misery this winter. According to The Mountain Mail, chances for a good spring run-off — and consequently for improved reservoir storage this year — are good.

Last year, a long-term drought had depleted ground water and left reservoirs half-empty, despite better rainfall in 2004 (and the San Luis Valley was still getting inadequate precipitation). Thus recent heavy snows have brought optimism.

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Not everything is getting privatized

Brief by Central Staff

Outdoors – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

With the transfer of the Baca Ranch to the federal government as part of the process in making Great Sand Dunes National Park, 14,165-foot Kit Carson Peak has apparently moved from private to public lands.

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Lynx produce more kittens

Brief by Allen Best

Wildlife – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Wildlife researchers have documented the birth of 36 Canada lynx in Colorado this year, spurring hopes that the species will become established. At least 85 of the 166 cats released in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado five years ago are known to be alive.

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The Crud That’s Going Around

Brief by Skye Ridley

Public Health – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

It seems like everybody gets sick this time of year; do you know anyone who hasn’t? We call it either a cold or “that crud that’s going around.” But most of us aren’t really sure what we have, and it seems like everyone has different symptoms.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dunes Roll On

The Dunes saga, like the dunes, is apparently endless. The newest National Park is still the subject of water spats.

The National Park Service filed a claim for water rights, seeking all unappropriated groundwater under the park. This action pleases water watchdogs on a local, state, and national level, as they see it protecting the water and holding future brokers at bay. In fact, the Rio Grande Water Conservation District helped with the filing.

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Pine returns to being Pine Grove

Brief by Central Staff

Geography – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

A mountain town on the old Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad line has regained its old name.

The spot, on the west edge of Jefferson County, has for years been known as Pine. Its not on any major route now, but logically enough, you get on the road to Pine by turning southeast from U.S. 285 at Pine Junction.

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My jeans grow on trees

Essay by Lissa James

Silviculture – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

My family owns a timber company in Washington state, and for us, money grows on trees.

Every time we buy something, we see the physical signs of our consumption in our backyard. Paying for my recent college education, for example, took about 300 log truckloads of second-growth Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock trees. A $60 pair of jeans equals a log of doug fir that’s eight inches at the top and 36 feet long. When we pay medical bills or leave our town of 200 to go on vacation, we cut more trees.

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Western Water Report: February 2, 2005


As of 2/1, the 30-year of average snow water equivalent by basin is: Gunnison, 152%; Upper Colorado, 105%; South Platte, 90%; Laramie/North Platte, 89%; Yampa/White, 90%; Arkansas, 129%; Upper Rio Grande, 159%; SAN MIGUEL/DOLORES/ANIMAS/SAN JUAN, 159%.

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