Visiting Bethlehem in Buena Vista

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Mountain Life – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

HEY, I’m a law-abiding citizen. And I really do want to “render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s.” But I’d feel a lot more cheerful about paying my taxes if I weren’t being prodded toward the tax collectors by spear-wielding Roman guards.

“Move along!” these toga-clad tough guys order my husband Steve and me when we try to slip a few coins to several ragged beggars. “You’ll be free of that money soon enough!” a soldier snaps before wading back into the throng of merchants, pilgrims, shepherds, and money changers gathered at Bethlehem Marketplace.

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After 8 years of working more to earn less, it was time for a change

Column by Hal Walter

Economy – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

IN POLITICALLY UNILATERAL Custer County, Sen. John McCain beat Barack Obama 1,668 to 914. That makes us sort of like Georgia with better scenery and fewer Confederate flags.

I’m actually a registered Republican but voted for only one of the party’s candidates this year. I changed my political affiliation a few years ago when I realized there was no other way to have any voice in local politics. Before that, I had been a Democrat, a Libertarian, and I believe was registered as independent for a while.

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Wall Street, Main Street, Dirt Roads

Column by John Mattingly

Economy – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

WE’VE HEARD A LOT lately about Wall Street and Main Street, about the financial economy and the “real economy.” The news has been filled with the worries of PLOPs (People Living On Pavement).

Very little, however, has been said about those of us who don’t live on a street, whose address is on a county road or star route and whose livelihood comes from dirt.

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Marketplace is a real labor of love

Sidebar by Lynda La Rocca

Bethlehem Market – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The phrase “It takes a village …” comes to mind when describing the effort involved in staging the Valley Fellowship Church’s Bethlehem Marketplace.

The all-volunteer event requires 3,000 to 4,000 man-hours of preparation, this year under the direction of Terri Hansen and Sue Goins, the latter a Marketplace veteran who also served as co-coordinator in 2004 and 2006.

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Politics, power, and hard times

Essay by Ed Quillen

Politics – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

GRANTED, I was reasonably happy with the outcome of this year’s election, at least on the state and national level. On the local level, there hasn’t been much good news lately. We can start with the local economy.

Development of the Climax Mine above Leadville is pretty much on hold, and one of Salida’s better employers, BBI International, announced it was closing its office here and laying off 25 to 30 full-time employees.

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Hillside: A wide spot with a lot of lore

Article by Don Simonton

Local History – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

ANYONE INTERESTED IN A COMBINATION of beautiful scenery and interesting history should pay a visit to Hillside in the Wet Mountain Valley, ten miles south of Cotopaxi and Texas Creek. Perhaps you’ve never heard of it — and you’d better not blink or you’ll miss it — but it’s there, a cluster of nondescript buildings behind a simple sign.

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Not exactly celebrating

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Politics – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

The letter I wrote for November’s issue was apparently stolen by trolls, but I refer readers to Alexander Cockburn’s essay in the November 10 Nation magazine (“Against Obama, www.thenation.com). I shared little of the jubilation of the crowd at Hattie’s as the election results came in.

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Power and markets

Letter from Ray Schoch

Energy – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed and Martha:

Correspondence with George Sibley and the theme of this year’s Headwaters Conference [electricity and power] reminds me that my former Front Range community of Loveland has some of the lowest electric utility rates in the state, in large part because Loveland has its own unobtrusive hydroelectric plant on the Big Thompson River, several miles upstream from the city itself.

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Water Update

Article by John Orr

Water – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

RGWCD – Special Improvement District No. 1

The management plan for the Rio Grande Water Conservation District’s Special Improvement District (Subdistrict) No. 1 was on trial during late October and early November; and on December 16th, Division Three Water Court Judge O. John Kuenhold plans to hear closing arguments in the case.

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Colorado 1870-2000 II, by John Fielder, et al.

Review by Ed Quillen

Colorado – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado 1870-2000 II – Historical photography by William Henry Jackson Contemporary rephotography by John Fielder
Text by Gillian Klucas
Published in 2005 by Westcliffe Publishers in conjunction with the Colorado Historical Society
ISBN 978-1-56579-566-2

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Still crazy after all these years

Column by George Sibley

Nature – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

I WROTE MOST OF THIS before the election, at a time when it was hard to believe that there was still a race too close to call, after the McCain and Palin duo started running on a lot of nasty untruths, with their only remotely philosophical stance being the fundamentally undemocratic and un-American premise that “spreading the wealth” is a bad thing. How could anyone still take them seriously after that?

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Making kilowatts while the sun shines

Article by Mike Rosso

Energy – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

“Drill, baby, Drill”?

Residents of Central Colorado have taken a different tact regarding the energy issues confronting them in the 21st century by choosing to take advantage of a renewable resource found in abundance in our region: Sunshine.

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Dirty tricks alleged in campaign mailers

Brief by Allen Best

Politics – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

During the presidential campaign this year, supporters of Barack Obama strenuously objected to letters, e-mails and other campaign materials that included his middle name, Hussein. Their argument was that using his middle name was a sly attempt to link him in the public mind with Saddam Hussein, the late dictator of Iraq.

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Regional Roundup

Brief by Martha Quillen

Local News – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Creepy Crawlies

Water samples taken from Tarryall Reservoir, southeast of Jefferson, contained Quagga mussel larvae, which indicates that there are a substantial number of adult mussels in the lake despite the boat inspection program there.

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Dead pine tree kills logger at Grand Lake

Brief by Allen Best

Timber – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Foresters have been warning that beetle-killed forests will become ever more dangerous, now that up to 90% of lodgepole pine trees in parts of Colorado have died. Dead trees, after all, often fall, and the root systems for lodgepole pine are particularly shallow.

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Aspen residents say it’s worth the hassle

Brief by Allen Best

Mountain Life – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Most Aspenites are a few pickets short of living the American dream in a white-picket fence on the edge of town. Their housing is cramped, their expenses high. Still, Aspen is worth the aggravations, they tell The Aspen Times.

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Like renewable energy? Then you’d better like mining

Brief by Allen Best

Mining – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Do you support renewable energy? Energy independence? If so, then you’d better support domestic miners, says Jim Burnell, of the Colorado Geological Survey.

Burnell recently spoke in Ouray, a one-time mining town on the edge of the rich mining districts of the San Juan Mountains. His speech was reported by the Ouray Watch.

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Higher backyard wind turbines proposed

Brief by Allen Best

Energy – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

As homeowners begin to study wind, solar and other renewable energy sources located literally in their backyards, local governments are increasingly confronting the balance between private property rights and neighborhood aesthetic tastes.

That question of balance has come up frequently in the matter of solar collectors. To some people, the collectors are unsightly. The issue is also arising in regard to wind turbines.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Election Over

Following the national trend, voter turnout was huge in the Valley, including a 92 percent return in Alamosa County and a record 90 percent in Saguache County.

David Mahonee is the new DA for the SLV. The Democrat was a deputy DA earlier. Democrat Edward Vigil beat Randy Jackson for a seat in the state house, and Alamosa voters said yes to more money for schools.

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Obama beats prediction in Lake County

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Back on Oct. 15, the New York Times ran a story about how race was or wasn’t a factor in the presidential election in Chaffee and Lake counties, which are almost entirely white.

Among those quoted was Leadville Mayor Bud Elliott, who “said he thought Mr. Obama would win there because of the historic alliance of the mining unions and the Democratic Party. But Mr. Elliott also expects a gap, with Mr. Obama winning by a smaller margin than other Democrats, because of race-based defections.”

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Take a Hike

Essay by Rob Pudim

Outdoors – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

“I thought we’d go for a hike,” I told the boy I’m mentoring. “You know, look at stuff.”

“How about we go to a movie?” he parried. “Or we could play electronic poker.”

He’s not an unusual kid. There has been a major swing in his generation away from all things outdoors. The National Academy of Sciences said, “All major lines of evidence point to an ongoing and fundamental shift away from nature-based activity.”

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