DIA: The Story behind the Tents

By Mike Rosso

It wasn’t quite a napkin, but a few quick strokes on the backside of an appointment card led to the design of one of the most recognizable airport terminals in the world.

Retired architect Jim Bradburn, who currently lives outside Westcliffe, Colorado, recounts how those scribbles were eventually transformed into the tent-like structure known to most Coloradans as the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport (DIA).

Bradburn, a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, first came to Colorado in 1976 to oversee the construction of the Helen Bonfils Theater Complex for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. At the time, he was working for the architectural firm of Roche Dinkeloo and Associates of Hamden, Connecticut.

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A Dream Realized: The Rio Grande Healthy Living Park

By Gena Akers

This past July, a group of individuals united by a common dream for a plot of land near a rural Southern Colorado town got a second chance. 

“Over time, I hope this becomes part of the fabric of our community,” says Julie Mordecai, acting director of the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park (RGHLP). For Mordecai and the other RGHLP supporters, it is an honor to just have the sewing machine back out on the table.

The future home of the RGHLP is the former Polson Elementary School property, a 38-acre plot near the intersection of Hwys. 17 and 160, just east of Alamosa. Some of the plans for the RGHLP include a working farm, a year-round local food market, botanical gardens, commercial kitchen, event space and walking trails, all of which will help to make the “entrance into Alamosa more attractive,” says Mordecai. Besides these initiatives, proponents hope to continue their relationship with the San Luis Valley’s local Guatemalan community. The RGHLP is host to eight farm plots managed by Guatemalan families, many of which were economically displaced after the closure of the nearby Rakhra Mushroom Farm. Besides these plots, proponents hope to expand agricultural research opportunities beyond potatoes, one of the Valley’s main crops. Through all of these combined efforts, Bill Brinton, RGHLP supporter and East Alamosa resident, says the project will offer “a new kind of economic self-reliance.”

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Gambling With Insurance

By Hal Walter

At some point it sunk in that I was standing high up on a ladder, hefting a chainsaw to cut a branch on a big ponderosa pine, and doing so without any sort of safety net, spotter or even healthcare coverage.

The irony was that I was performing this daring act of bad judgment in the name of insurance. Suddenly the blade upon the branch brought into sharp focus how much of our lives are spent literally working for the insurance industry. We pay for healthcare insurance, which is really “diseasecare” coverage. We insure our homes and their contents, and our cars. We insure our lives as if death were only a gamble. Some people even buy insurance for their computers and cell phones.

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The Natural World

by Tina Mitchell Just after June’s summer solstice, my husband and I were enjoying a lazy morning, drinking coffee and watching television, when movement outside the windows caught my eye. Probably a mule deer heading for a drink from the birdbath, I thought as I stood up to look. Whoa – definitely not a deer. …

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A Visit with Kerry Donovan

by Mike Rosso Colorado native, Highland cattle rancher, educator and ski race volunteer Kerry Donovan wants to be the next Colorado state senator for SD5. Running for the seat soon to be vacated by term-limited Gail Schwartz, the Vail resident claims no personal agenda going into the upcoming race. “The idea of representational government is …

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Wagon Train

Photos by Shirley Tipping and Mike Rosso On June 28, 2014, a remarkable sight was visible to anyone who happened to be near the grasslands between Nathrop and Buena Vista, on the west side of U.S. Hwy. 285. Kicking up dust on that hot summer day were 10 assorted wagons, surreys and carts along with …

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A Day on the River that Ended in a Death

By C.C. Havens – Writers on the Range I keep thinking about Mary, a woman I never met. I Googled her name looking for her obituary, but I kept getting the same headlines of the articles I’ve already read too many times: “Woman dies in Pine Creek rafting accident.” “Texas woman drowns while rafting the …

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Born On a Mountain Raised In a Cave

by Bill Shaw Equipment I didn’t know about Outward Bound until I had grown and left the Rockies. I still don’t know much about how it got started, but I believe it originated in Boulder or somewhere similar about the time, or maybe just before, I was running through those fields around my house. I …

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News from the San Luis Valley

Wetlands Work to Begin On Aug. 20, Colorado Parks and Wildlife approved $400,000 for wetlands and riparian habitat projects in the San Luis Valley. Three national wildlife refuges operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will see the installation of 10 water-control structures which will benefit sandhill …

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

Justice for Justice? A Western Slope activist and frequent critic of the federal government has filed a motion to dismiss a case against him for allegations he destroyed federal property. David Justice of Gunnison, was indicted Aug. 13 for an incident that occurred in July 2013 when a group of 23 activists used various tools …

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About the Cover Artist – Shirley Ann Tipping

Shirley Ann Tipping was born and raised in Liverpool, England. She has had a keen interest in photography since the age of 14. Shirley moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 1992, where she became a photographer’s assistant. She graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts with honors degree. Shirley …

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Down on the Ground with the Church of Holy Erosion

By George Sibley

Two commemorations are worth noting this summer here in Central Colorado: the Wilderness Act is 50 years old, and this summer is also the 50th anniversary of the commencement of construction on the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project.

I mention them both here because it suits my unsubtle sense of irony. The Fry-Ark Project is about as contrary to the spirit of the Wilderness Act as one could imagine – a heavy-duty tampering with natural geography and hydrology in Central Colorado’s high country, that butts cheek to jowl against Wilderness Areas protected against any human tampering. 

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The 25th Headwaters Conference

By Tyler Grimes The 25th Headwaters Conference will begin Friday, Sept. 18 at Western State in Gunnison.  The theme this year is The Working Wild with Pulitzer Prize author, Gary Snyder, providing the keynote address on Friday at 7.  Saturday morning will have two expert panels discussing The Urban Wild and the The Private Wild, …

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