Last of the Hot Lead Papers – The Saguache Crescent

In an era of newspaper closures and rapidly changing information delivery methods, it’s hard to imagine a news business continuing to employ early 1900s technology, yet still succeeding.

One such operation still exists in Central Colorado and it is one of a few remaining newspapers in the country to produce a print product using Linotype.

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Reality TV: A Jackass on the run and in the kitchen

by Hal Walter

Adding to the excitement of the upcoming pack-burro racing season was a visit by New York documentary filmmaker Trevor Velin and producer Meghan McGinley.

Trevor had contacted me about his idea to make a documentary film on Colorado’s only indigenous sport. Apparently he had read about pack-burro racing in a magazine and decided to check it out on his travels last year. I actually spoke to him following one of the races in 2008 but I was apparently in a hypoxic haze and barely remember the conversation. At any rate, Trevor decided the reality of a 29-mile race in which people run with burros up and down a rocky 13,187-foot pass was interesting and worthy of documenting on film.

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Writers on the Range – Riding the rails – upscale

by Betsy Kepes

“You been ridin’ the rails?” The man had an old green duffel bag slung over his shoulder.

I could tell he’d checked us out as we stood on the lush lawn by the courthouse in Missoula, Montana. On my back I wore a faded red pack, and across my front I’d strapped my 5-month-old son. Seven-year-old Lee wore his own backpack, and my husband, Tom, leaned over from the weight of the huge load he carried.

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From the Compost Bin – August 2009

(Tips for high-altitude gardeners)

by Suzanne Ward

Summer Solstice has passed and it is now the warmest time of the year. It’s difficult to remember the cold, dark days of winter – back when we were pining for the warmth of the summer sun.

By now you should be enjoying some of the fruits of your gardening labor.

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Down on the Ground with Water and Democracy II

by George Sibley

Last month in this column, I began an exploration of “hydraulic societies” – societies whose existence depends on their ability to move water around. I quickly got in too deeply to get out in one column, and am picking it up again this month. The purpose of the columns is to serve as background for consideration of Colorado’s 2005 “Water for the Future Act,” now entering its fifth year – an interesting “experiment in democracy,” although it is seldom portrayed or perceived as that.

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Same Time, Same Place

by Philip Tarlow

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the January 2009 issue of the Crestone Eagle.

The sky turned deep purple-gray as I sat by Cottonwood Creek. Hailstones began raining down on my head, bouncing off my painting surface; watercolor paper taped to a piece of plywood.

The spring runoff roared, virgin pale green leaves shook, water leapt and splashed on ancient rocks. New moisture released fragrances from the earth and foliage that made you swoon. I was in heaven; why get up just because a bit of hail was falling? The tempo increased and I was in a hailstorm. I reluctantly packed up and returned home, imagining myself the brave warrior.

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Breaking Open the Heart: A Meditation on Broken: A Love Story

by Lisa Jones
Scribner, May 2009
Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1416579060

Essay/Review by Elliot Jackson

“What does it matter if it hurts like hell, so long as it makes a good book?” – Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

Colorado writer Lisa Jones has just finished her first book, Broken. The title is a play on words – it refers to horse breaking, hearts breaking, bodies breaking. She has subtitled it, “a love story”, and so it is – in the way that, say, the New Testament is a love story. Bear with me, here, a moment – I mean no disrespect, and certainly no blasphemy. But imagine the gospel of – let’s call her Theodora: a well-educated Greco-Roman woman who, having heard tell of a healer and holy man working in the provinces of the Empire, makes the decision to leave Rome and travel to Jerusalem to write about him. She has heard tales of miracles which she accepts skeptically but politely: she doesn’t need to believe in miracles, or this Hebrew God, to write about them – or so she thinks.

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Silver Lies, Iron Ties and Leaden Skies

By Ann Parker
2003, 2006, 2009 Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN 1-59058-072-9

Reviewed by Nancy Hudelson

Ann Parker’s Silver Rush historical mystery series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, is set in the silver boomtown of Leadville in the 1880s. The series is rich with tales of greed, lust and deception when men and women stopped at nothing, not even murder, to strike it rich. There can be no doubt that the rush mining era in the 1880s in the Colorado Rockies was one of the most exciting chapters in the history of the American West.

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Video: The Call of the River

A Hundred Years of Whitewater Adventure
Produced by Kent Ford (2008 Whitewater Hall of Fame Inductee)
93 Minutes
Performance Video. Durango, Colorado – 2009

Reviewed by Mike Rosso

Most Central Colorado residents are familiar with FIBArk, the big whitewater festival held every summer in Salida. What they may not be aware of is the event’s impact on the sport of whitewater boating in the United States.

Renowned paddler and filmmaker Kent Ford brings that history to life with his new film, Call of the River, which traces the origins of the sport of river running from early canoeing adventures to modern creek boating.

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Coming to a Backyard Near You…

by Susan Tweit

What if you could walk out into your yard and pick a sun-warmed tomato, dripping with juice, for lunch? What if the hardest part of deciding what to cook for dinner was choosing from the box of just-harvested produce delivered to your door?

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Agriculture and War – Some Thoughts

by John Mattingly

“You’re in the army now,

You’re not behind the plow. . .”

I remember hearing this verse from a song played on movie newsreels in the decade following WWII, in which the farmer appeared in agony, sweating behind a horse. Until he hears a bugle in the distance. Shedding the shackles of the field, the farmer dashes off to enlist, and is soon seen in uniform, holding a gun across a big smile as he enters a roaring field of battle, his honor and fate now restored far above those homely stands of corn.

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Water Update – August 2009

by John Orr

Nestlé Waters Chaffee County Project

As we go to press the Chaffee County Commissioners have yet to issue or deny Nestlé Waters a permit to build their pipeline, pumphouse and loading facilities to truck water from the Hagen Spring out of basin to Denver. The company bottles spring water under the brand name Arrowhead and has a facility for doing so down in the flatlands. The plan is to run tanker trucks over Trout Creek Pass, across South Park, over Kenosha Pass down U.S. 285 to the Denver Metro area.

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News from the San Luis Valley – August 2009

Solar Farm on tap for 2010

ALAMOSA – A new solar farm is scheduled to be installed across from the current Sun Edison solar farm near Mosca on Hwy 17. The 200-acre project, to be built in 2010, is projected to produce 17 megawatts of sun-generated power and 48,000 megawatt hours by 2011.

Sun Power hopes to create 50 local jobs during the construction phase with several longer-term positions after completion.

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Regional News Roundup – August 2009

(and other items of interest)

Rash of Burglaries strike Salida Restaurants

Large amounts of cash were stolen when four Salida restaurants were burglarized between June 21 and July 17. The latest victim was the Patio Pancake restaurant on U.S. 50 in which an unknown sum of cash was taken during the night of July 17.

Three earlier burglaries occurred during the FIBArk festival weekend when three area restaurants experienced late-night break-ins resulting in the theft of large quantities of cash. Thieves struck The Boathouse Cantiña, Bongo’s Salida Café and The Windmill Restaurant between about 10 p.m., June 21 and 7 a.m. June 22, making off with more then $65,000 in cash.

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Colorado’s Water in a Climate of Change

by Joe Stone

Colorado’s temperatures will rise over 4°F by the year 2050. Mountain snowpack will melt earlier, and stream flows in the Colorado River Basin will diminish by five to 20 percent. These numbers, highlighted in October, 2008 at the Governor’s Conference on Managing Drought and Climate Risk, are documented in a report titled Climate Change in Colorado. Published by Western Water Assessment,* the report identifies several issues that will challenge Colorado’s ability to meet water demands as temperatures increase.

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24 Hours on the Rocks in Gunnison

by Luke Mehall

The mountains in Colorado are ideal for coming of age. I won’t bother quoting anything from “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver here, but I will start with an example from my own life: A few years ago the police came to my place of employment to discuss my overstaying the 14-day limit at a nearby public lands area. Now, years later, this June, the governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, was speaking at a kick-off praising the work we’d done organizing an event at the same area.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Hidden Cost of Your Perks

To the Editor:

How often do we stop to consider how our little pleasures and perks can cause inconvenience to our fellow humans? Every time we order up a burger, do we think of the folks who live downwind of the stink of the feedlot and the slaughterhouse? As we drive down the interstate, do we think of the noise and pollution suffered by the ones unlucky enough to live in adjoining houses? For that matter, does the homeowner consider the dust and racket inflicted on the neighborhood when their house was built? I remember well-heeled Vail residents bitching about construction inconvenience when they themselves had been the cause of their own mess of mud and power saws just a few years before.

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Quillen’s Corner – August 2009

Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

Remember that old saw: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”? It’s funny, but ignores a basic truth: What constitutes fact isn’t always clear. As June segued into July, everything I read seemed to demonstrate the same theme: Facts are often just the fictions that most of us agree upon.

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