Leadville all over again

Column by Hal Walter

Environment – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

I’D NEVER REALLY SEEN my child bleed before, but there I was, locked in a chair, and hugging him tightly with both arms as two lab technicians drew a tiny amount of blood from his arm.

Despite my efforts to hold him still, when the needle drove home he jerked his arm just enough to shut off the flow. One of the technicians went to the phone to find out if the tiny amount of blood would be enough to detect heavy metals.

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A farmer far afield

Column by John Mattingly

Agriculture – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

WALK INTO ANY FOOD STORE in the United States — be it a species of super box store, a supermarket, or a gas-n-go shop on the highway — and you have to be impressed with the magnitude of selections. The old mom-and-pop grocers I recall from the ’50s and ’60s had one kind of cracker (Saltines) three kinds of bread (Wonder, White, and Wheat), perhaps half a dozen kinds of soda pop, and one corner devoted to produce, another to meat, the butcher wielding his cleaver on demand.

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The phantom railroad of Tennessee Pass

Article by Kendal Stitzel

Transportation – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

ONCE A TANGLED WEB of silver rails, Central Colorado has enjoyed something of a railroad renaissance at the turn of the 21st century. Despite the numerous ghosts of abandoned railroads, a streamlined passenger train now leaves every day from Cañon City to ply the tracks of the Royal Gorge, some of the passengers eating luxuriously in a full dining car. Above Leadville, a diesel pulls trainloads of tourists to timberline amid lovely mountain views. The San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad recently began passenger service over La Veta Pass then down to Antonito. In Antonito, the antique steamers of the Cumbres and Toltec continue to haul thousands back and forth into New Mexico. And plans remain afoot to revive a railroad line to Creede.

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No lessons from the Old West

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Old West – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

In September’s edition Martha doubts that the Old West has any lessons for the troubles in the Old World. I’ll up the ante here: I doubt if a nation which can’t maintain order in its own refrigerators has any business trying to impose order overseas. And why is she alone or nearly alone among news analysts to remind us that the current crisis area, South Lebanon, has been full of displaced Palestinians since the creation of the state of Israel? Is it any wonder that region bristles with rocket-launchers? Without the context of history as a background, the voting public is more likely to be gulled by pie-in-the-sky politicians and their agenda.

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Don’t give in to the UP

Letter from Name Withheld By Request

Transportation – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine


While I certainly agree that a dead railroad is a much better place to walk the dog than a living railroad, I cannot believe that such a reason constitutes your admission of defeat at the hands of Union Pacific.

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Hockey Stick graph is for real

Letter from Leslie Willoughby

Climate – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

How wonderful it is to find among your readers several who would take the time to write cogent letters regarding Global Climate Change. While I agreed with Ide Trotter’s recommendations and conclusion that “dependence on imported crude oil should be reduced,” I was confounded to read Ide’s report of the hockey stick graph “refutation.”

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Gone with the flow

Letter from Ray Schoch

Water – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine


There have been some unusually wet periods in the upper Arkansas Valley this summer, if I remember correctly, but I think folks in Central Colorado should not think old water issues have gone away.

On September 1st, a Friday, I noticed that three sprinkler heads for a small parcel of land (consisting mostly of a detention pond) down the hill from my condo development in Lakewood had been running constantly for at least a full day. I made note of it mentally. The next day, they were still running. The sprinklers were still running full-bore on Sunday, too. Finally, on Monday, the 4th, I contacted Lakewood City Hall via e-mail to their Engineering Department. They forwarded my e-mail to an overworked soul in the Community Resources Office, who contacted me via e-mail in response.

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Progress and Labor Day

Column by George Sibley

Labor – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

LABOR DAY will be long gone by the time you are reading this, dear reader, but it’s when I’m trying to write it. “Plan ahead” isn’t in my nature, so I seldom manage to think a month ahead to what’s going to be in the news when this column actually hits the press.

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Bonnie the teacher

Essay by Deric Pamp

Life – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

OUR FAMILY INCLUDES an aging Golden Retriever, a smart and loving female named Bonnie. She is 12 years old now. She has thyroid trouble and arthritis, and last year diabetes took her sight before we could get it regulated with insulin. Even so, she is cheery, and we think it’s entirely fair that we take care of her now and act as her seeing-eye persons. After all, she protected us from prairie dogs, marmots, and rabbits for all those years, so it’s our turn.

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Learning when it’s good enough

Essay by Reggie Morton

Judgment – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

“Perfection is the enemy of the good.”

I don’t regularly go around quoting Voltaire, mainly because I know Jack about him aside from this one blurb that I found while looking for something else. But the idea implied seems worth discussing among intelligent folk, and even old drunken Indians like me.

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More than a water fight in Chaffee County

Essay by Ed Quillen

Local Politics – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

ALTHOUGH MOST COUNTY OFFICES — clerk, treasurer, sheriff, etc. — are up for election this year, there’s only one hot race in Chaffee County. That’s the commissioner contest. You can tell from the proliferation of yard signs, either “Tim Glenn Again” or “People First: Bev Scanga,” that it dominates local politics in 2006. The only sign that might outnumber them is “Save Our Shelter: Vote Yes on 1A,” and that small property-tax increase doesn’t appear to be controversial (since I’ve yet to encounter anyone who’s against it).

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Pike in October 1806 and October 2006

Brief by Central Staff

Pike Bicentennial – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine –

WHEN WE LEFT Lt. Zebulon M. Pike and his small party at the end of September, they were camped amid the Pawnee near present Red Cloud, Nebraska, on the Republican River.

Pike’s negotiations with the Pawnee were an important part of his mission. He was supposed to switch their allegiance from Spain to the United States, and get their assistance in reaching the Comanche (Pike often called them Tetaus) for the same diplomatic effort. The Comanche had made peace with Spain after Juan Bautista de Anza’s 1779 campaign, which took him through Central Colorado.

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Regional Roundup

Brief by Martha Quillen

Local News – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Suspect and Friend Commit Suicide

When Chaffee County Sheriff’s Deputies and an 11th Judicial District Investigator attempted to serve a search warrant at the home of Justin Jimerson, 24, in September, things went awry. The authorities wanted to search Jimerson’s home in connection with a suspected arson at Rocky Mountain Pine Cone in Poncha Springs. The business burned in June, an arson investigation ensued, and owner Candus Wolfe, 49, was arrested on July 31 and released on bail. Two business associates, Wayne Eugene Clements and Jesamiah Davis, were also arrested in connection with the suspected arson and released on bond. Justin Jimerson was an employee at Wolfe’s business, and her boyfriend. Though he’d been questioned during the investigation, he was not arrested.

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B-Grade movie being filmed in streets of Gunnison

Brief by Allen Best

Movies – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

For whatever reasons, the producers of a B-grade movie called “Alien vs. Predator” have chosen to set this epic battle within a town called Gunnison.

Sticklers for accuracy, at least in some respects, they plan to use business names from the streets of Gunnison, but will actually do the filming in the towns of Port Moody and Port Coquitlam, located in British Columbia’s metropolitan Vancouver. Gunnison, located at about 8,000 feet, is surrounded by sagebrush and hay fields of timothy and brome. The two B.C. towns, as their names indicate, are located at sea level along Vancouver Bay.

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Gothic gets too many visitors

Brief by Central Staff

Growth – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory sits in the old mining camp of Gothic in Gunnison County. Since 1928, scientists have gone there to study birds, marmots, butterflies, and flowers in a relatively isolated spot away from much human activity.

Problem is, it’s not so isolated any more, given the growth in nearby Crested Butte as well as mountain tourism in general.

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Sign will stay

Brief by Central Staff

First Amendment – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The anti-war signs on the side of Deb Juchem’s two-story building on First Street in Salida were in violation of the city’s sign code because they, when combined with signs on the front of the building, exceeded the allowable area.

But after the ACLU threatened litigation — the signs are political and the city generally does not enforce the sign code during election season — the city backed down.

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Military aircraft test sky over Gunnison

Brief by Allen Best

Military – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The V-22 Osprey is a hybrid between a helicopter and a fixed-wing airplane. It goes up and down like a helicopter, but then can scoot fast like a plane. And it has been doing all three in the Gunnison-Crested Butte area since early August.

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Eisenhower statue planned where he loved to fish

Brief by Allen Best

Water – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Of recent U.S. presidents, Bill Clinton has had the strongest ties to ski towns. He vacationed first in Vail, then Aspen, and then several times in Jackson Hole. When he was president, Gerald Ford vacationed in Vail winter and summer.

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POGIs in Colorado

Brief by Central Staff

Geology – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Colorado Geological Survey devoted its most recent Rock Talk newsletter to POGIs — Points Of Geologic Interest.

The featured POGIs are spots with “guided activities in the form of interpretive presentations, hikes, or tours; self-guiding hikes or drives; museum exhibits; roadside displays; or educational seminars where geology is a primary topic of interest.”

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Water thievery rampant in tony Sun Valley area

Brief by Allen Best

Water – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Many well-to-do residents of the Wood River Valley are stealing in broad daylight, says an official with the Idaho state government, and he probably won’t do anything about it.

“Welcome to Sun Valley. This is typical America, the land of greed, where people just take, take, take,” says David W. Murphy, who is a deputy water master.(In Colorado, the job is usually called water commissioner.)

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Real-estate sales slow, but prices rise

Brief by Allen Best

Real Estate – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

After two phenomenal years in nearly every resort valley of the West, the real estate market this year has slowed in some places. But almost everywhere, prices continue to rise.

Places affected by slow-downs include Crested Butte. That town’s real estate transfer tax is projected to yield $1.3 million this year, compared to $2 million last year.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Bombs Away

School started, therefore a bomb threat was called in — but not to a school. SLV Federal Bank had to be evacuated and checked after a woman called and said there were two bombs in the lobby. A reward is offered for info on the caller.

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Judge rules feds should have sought more Gunnison water

Brief by Central Staff

Water – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

A 2003 agreement between the state and federal governments concerning streamflows through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has been set aside by a federal judge, who called it “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.”

The issue goes back to 1933, when President Herbert Hoover reserved some federal land between Gunnison and Montrose as Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument.

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Relishing small triumphs

Essay by John Clayton

Mountain Life – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN I REALIZED a dozen years ago that my state’s license plates were issued chronologically, I felt stirrings of ambition. Here was a tiny yet visible status symbol, and all I had to do was wait.

At that time my plate, after the county prefix, was 4786A, meaning that there were over 4,000 vehicles lined up ahead of me in the race for a low number. But over the next several years I watched as over 5,000 lined up behind me. Then I was delighted to witness — like an odometer turning over at 100,000 miles — the first license plates ending in B.

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Western Water Report: October 4, 2006


A federal judge rules that former Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s decision to let Colorado limit water flows in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion.” <http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4991274,00.html> <http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4333566>

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