Eye on the 5th

By Daniel Smith In some parts of Colorado, and the nation, whether there was a Democratic “blue wave” this mid-term election or not depended on what stretch of political beach you were standing on. At the state government level, however, there wasn’t much debate; the numbers reflect that a true blue tsunami swept the governor’s …

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Q&A with Erin Kelley

Salida resident Erin Kelley is running for Colorado House District 60, a seat held by Rep. Jim Wilson since 2013. The District encompasses Chaffee, Park, Fremont and Custer Counties. She represents just one of the many younger women nationwide who have decided to run for office in 2018. Kelley is currently the secretary/treasurer for the …

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From the Editor: Not A Local

By Mike Rosso

It’s hard for me to fathom, but I’ve called Salida home for 16 years come this November. This is the longest I have lived continually in any one place, including the town I was born in.

Yet, I don’t yet consider myself a local. I reserve that title for those who were born and grew up here, who raised families here, whose ancestors are buried here. I know quite a few locals, those who decided to stay here for their own particular reasons. But there are many Salida natives whom I’ve never, nor will ever meet. They left the city long ago for better jobs, more culture, bigger cities – for any number of reasons.

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Water Update

By John Orr

November Election Recap

Normally this column deals with water issues and water folks in Central Colorado, but in the aftermath of the weirdest election season in my lifetime this iteration will take on a statewide and national flavor.

Del Norte rancher Travis Smith, currently serving on the Colorado Water Conservation Board, likes to remind folks in the water business, that “We are more connected than we’d like to admit.”

With all the uncertainty before us, is it possible to glean some idea of the effects the voters have wrought upon themselves?

President-elect Trump is rumored to be about to install a non-scientist, Myron Ebell, as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Ebell has spoken out against the “hoax” of global warming, and many hail his ascension as necessary to clip the wings of a federal government run wild under President Obama.

Martha Henriques writes in The International Business Times, “Climate deniers have been on the sidelines for years. What will happen now they’re in charge?”

A lot will happen no matter who is in power. Chris Mooney writes in The Washington Post:

“It’s polar night there now – the sun isn’t rising in much of the Arctic. That’s when the Arctic is supposed to get super-cold, when the sea ice that covers the vast Arctic Ocean is supposed to grow and thicken.

“But in fall of 2016 – which has been a zany year for the region, with multiple records set for low levels of monthly sea ice – something is totally off. The Arctic is super-hot, even as a vast area of cold polar air has been displaced over Siberia.”

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Keeping the Darkness at Bay

By Hal Walter

In the wake of the recent election, I found myself pondering the future and reading a book called Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

We’ve all heard of the Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis. One piece of history I was not aware of is that the Nazis also exterminated more than 70,000 disabled people, as many as 3,500 of them believed to be autistic.

Through a program called Aktion T4, the Nazis carried out their ideology of “eugenics.” Part of this was the notion that those who could not work were a burden – “useless eaters” and unworthy of life. This involuntary euthanasia program targeted mostly disabled or mentally ill people, primarily children, who were put to death by lethal injection, gassing, starvation and shooting. In many cases, parents were urged to send their disabled children to an institution and were later sent a letter saying their child had died of natural causes.

Also killed under this program were some political dissidents, including artists.

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America’s Candidates Keep Running the Wrong Way

By Martha Quillen

So far this season, the 2016 candidates have insulted immigrants, refugees, environmentalists, Muslims, Christians, the unemployed, undereducated, and whoever else was handy. And in the least charitable campaign ever, Donald Trump promised to kick out Mexican migrants; forsake homeless refugees; keep out Muslims; and arm our southern border against exploited children trying to escape Latin America. Trump also threatened numerous countries directly, challenged everyone who criticized him; scared the Brits; alarmed the Pope; and convinced half of America he’s dangerous. 

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Election Season Blues

By Ed Quillen

In ways, I miss the old-fashioned Election Day. Our precinct polling place was across the street from our house, and I work at home. I’d look out the front window, and when I didn’t see many cars parked, I knew there wouldn’t be much of a line.

Now we have “voting centers,” and ours is four blocks away, too far for easy traffic observation. So it’s easier just to vote early, which makes the whole concept of Election Day rather meaningless. It’s more like “Election Season.”

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Down on the Ground with the Ecology of Fear

By George Sibley

Cruising into election time, I find myself thinking about wolves. And fear.

I have been following, in a layman’s way, the wolf restoration project in the northern Rockies. One thing I’ve learned is that wolf restoration is credited with restoring the unraveling valley ecosystem in and around Yellowstone National Park. Without going into details, this is mainly due to the way the wolves have shaped the elk herds. Without the wolves, their main natural predator, the elk had not only over-populated the valleys, but had also become fat and lazy “meadow potatoes” (Dave Foreman’s term), loafing around the valley floors trashing the vegetation foundation to any ecosystem.

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Election Day is really Election Season

Brief by Central Staff

Election – October 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

The old Chicago joke encourages people to “vote early and often.” In Colorado, the “vote early” part is legal.

Election Day is Nov. 2, when the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, registered voters can cast their ballots starting on Oct. 18 if they go to their county’s “Designated Early Voting” place – most likely the county clerk’s office, and that’s the place to call to find it for your county.

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Central Colorado shows no real pattern in 2002 voting

Brief by Central Staff

Election – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

On the national and state levels, this year’s election had a pattern — basically, a Republican sweep. But in Central Colorado, some Democrats got elected, as did a lot of Republicans. Some tax increases passed, others failed, some term limits were retained while others were eliminated — in other words, we’re a diverse lot.

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