Home Grown Evolution

The electric car making strides in Salida

story and photos by Mike Rosso

A Salida-based automotive electric conversion business is getting ready to amp up its profile on a national level.

Evolve-it Motors, formerly Salida Conversions, soon will begin training auto shops across the country in the process of converting existing internal combustion vehicles into either gas/electric hybrids or full-on electric, says owner Pete Hansen.

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Season of life and death

by Hal Walter

“Some of them live, and some of them die.”

“If you don’t want to lose any, then don’t have any.”

“At least you don’t have to feed the sumbitch anymore.”

I’d nearly given up on the cow I call “Number 30.’ During the days running up to the March full moon her udder had been swelling, and I thought for sure the calf would arrive then. Some cattlepeople say that cows tend to have calves during foul weather, but a small snowstorm passed over, then a few more days, and the calf had yet to be born.

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A tribute to a lifetime of frugality

Writers on the Range

by Joanne Wilke

My great-aunt Marie never had garbage to throw out. She spent her last 20 years cleaning out the barn, garage, basement and various assorted farm sheds, dispersing the wire, wood, nails, fishing poles, antique radios, and a lifetime of other valuables her husband had stockpiled.

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A Species Behaving Badly

by John Mattingly

We’re in a global crisis: Economic, ecologic, psychologic.

Many fingers are being pointed and wagged.

But I have yet to hear anyone point out that, just possibly, the root of the crisis is a species behaving badly. And yes, I’m referring to the human species, homo sapiens sapiens. That means you, that means me.

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From the Compost Bin

(Tips for high-altitude gardeners)

by Suzanne Ward

The quiet of the winter and the warmth of the inside fire, which was such a blessing in January, feels too confining in spring.? We long for the warmth of sunshine after the dark and cold of winter.? It is time to plan the garden.? My Aunt Virginia, who will celebrate her 100th birthday this month, once told me, “If I can’t dig in the dirt and plant something, it is not spring!”?

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The East West Grill

Regional restaurant review by Patty LaTaille

East West Grill
408 4th St.
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-4600

If you’re the type of person who requires a plethora of menu choices and all types of cuisine – the East West Grill is the place for you. This is a picky person’s paradise, especially if you’re looking for reasonably priced ethnic fare, which is available as fresh salads, wraps, pastas, all-American hamburgers or rice bowls with brown or white rice and Japanese bento boxes.

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Down on the Ground with the Unentitled

by George Sibley

I’m just back from “Spring Break,” and you won’t believe where we went. We went thirty miles upvalley to Crested Butte for a couple days of mixed business and pleasure, and stayed in a lodge. Since it snowed close to a foot over the two nights and a day we were there, it was truly a break in the early spring we’ve been enjoying most of the winter; spring broke, and we returned to winter for a couple days.

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Red Light Women of the Rocky Mountains

By Jan MacKell
Foreword by Thomas J. Noel
Published in 2009 by University Press of New Mexico
ISBN 978-0-8263-4610-0

Reviewed by Virginia McConnell Simmons

As Frank Gifford once said about the sport of pro football, “There are no winners, only survivors.” As this new book by Jan MacKell shows, there were few winners and survivors in the sport of prostitution, but Central Colorado can claim a couple of well-known survivors, like Cockeyed Liz Spurgeon (or Spurgen) in Buena Vista and Laura Evans (or Evens) in Salida, who managed to survive for many years. Perhaps their survival was helped by the healthful climate.

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Espinosas Scapegoating Goes Awry

The Strange Case of Capt. E. Wayne Eaton

Part Two

By Charles F. Price

Maj. Archibald H. Gillespie and Capt. Ethan Wayne Eaton seem to have openly clashed first in early February 1863, days before Carleton’s order for the re-arrest of the Espinosas arrived. The issue was relatively trivial—Gillespie felt the escort for his census of the Fort Garland area should be mounted, but Eaton contended the major’s orders from Carleton didn’t specify a mounted escort and assigned him dismounted men instead. The dispute may have been a minor one but it inspired in Gillespie a strong dislike for Eaton.

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Westcliffe Community Radio Makes A Real Life Experience for Students

by Sarah Tillotson

Broadcast journalist, news reporter, radio host, and DJ: these are some careers Custer County students are preparing for by taking a radio broadcasting and journalism class. This dedicated group of high schoolers comes in for radio class on Friday, a day when most Custer County High School students sleep in, since they have a four-day school week. Students involved in the class are Amanda Neiges, Beth Wessels, Cameron Kessler, Emily Wenger, Ethan Owens, Jared LaPlante, Jessica Fultz, Levi Fultz, and Sarah Tillotson.

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News from the San Luis Valley

Second solar plant on tap for the Valley

DENVER- Xcel Energy and Sun Power Corp. have announced an agreement to build a 17-megawatt AC photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Alamosa County.

The power plant will be the second largest high-efficiency solar PV power plant in North America and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. The project could employ as many as 200 workers during construction.

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Regional Roundup

Nestlé Waters update

SALIDA – As of this writing, the final decision by the Chaffee County commissioners on the special land use and 1041 application by Nestlé Waters North America, Inc. has been delayed for more public comment.

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Doing What Comes Naturally

Cotopaxi grass farmers enjoy profitability while preserving land

Story by Susan Bavaria

Photos by Mike Rosso

A small percentage of cattle ranchers have laid down their agricultural arms and made peace with Mother Nature. Instead of inoculating, spraying, inseminating, supplementing, feeding and fighting blizzards to rescue calves born in February, these ranchers opt to coax the land into doing what comes naturally.

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When Paths Converge

By Jennifer Dempsey

Brock Oyler has always wanted to help the world.
“As funny as it might sound, I knew when I was about 5 or 6 years old that I wanted to help change the world,” said the 50 year-old?Salida native and founder of The Convergence Project (TCP). “After I got out of the bath tub one day, a day that I still remember vividly, I told my mother, ‘I need to do something great someday.’  She never stopped reminding me of that, and I wish she were here to see The Convergence Project today.”

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Quillen’s Corner

At first glance, it might be hard to say which is the bigger controversy hereabouts: Christo’s plan to drape the Arkansas River, or Nestlé’s plan to haul water to a plant in Denver to be bottled and sold as Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.

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In Memoriam: Abbott Fay, 1926-2009

by Elliot Jackson

I confess it: I am a print addict. A print junkie, if truth be told. I have been known to while away the time conning the labels on Kraft Mac & Cheese boxes, if no other reading material was available. This addiction is one among others that I inherited from my father, a man for whom the unfortunately hackneyed phrase, “a gentleman and a scholar,” might have been coined. A history scholar, to be precise, who, in his many years of teaching at the secondary and college levels, managed to inspire students with his particular combination of humor, rigor, and tartly compassionate appreciation for their pranks and growing pains.

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Change? What change?

To the Editor,

Okay, folks, the election is over. Time to get out the scissors and crop off the bottom of your Obama posters. Keep the picture, if you like, but get rid of the word “change.” You might be getting a bit of a change in tone, but none in substance. Maybe it’s not Obama’s fault; nobody’s got the backbone to buck the entrenched system, and maybe we could be thankful for a few small concessions like wilderness designations. But the show is still in the hands of the banking lobby, the military-industrial lobby, and the Israel lobby, and the rest of us poor slobs are still the dog being wagged by the tail.

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Of poets and poetry

Dear Editor,

There are no primers or handbooks for poets. They are few in number but will find their way. The poetical are infinitely more numerous than any but print editors suspect.

The textbooks on prosody, once they’ve explained the nature of quantity, meter, and rhyme, are of no value. The elaborate treatments given to rhythm, especially the syllabic rhythm of English, are difficult, analytic, and not written for poets. They are to be consigned to the bookshelf, not the writing of poetry. Poetry doesn’t flow from analysis, science does. Poetry springs from observation, inspiration, life experiences.

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Colorado Rail Facts – May 2009

The Sargents Water Tank still stands in the village of Sargents (originally known as Marshalltown) on the east side of Monarch Pass.

Built in 1937 to replace a smaller tank, the tank served the D&RGRR narrow-gauge line running up Marshall Pass. Originally there were tanks located every few miles along the tracks but the Sargents tank is one of the few remaining.

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