Over the River in Texas

Article by Ray James

Christo – July 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Don’t call them ephemeral.

Sure the major art works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude last only a few weeks but it takes years, sometimes decades, of designing, planning, gaining permission, and constructing to implement their artistic visions. Just such a vision is the “Over the River Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado,” the working title for a project that — if it happens — would fling sheets of fabric along stretches of the Arkansas River between Salida and Cañon City. There’s substance, too, in the millions of dollars the project has cost already and the millions more it will cost if it’s to become a reality.

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An update from the graduate

Letter from Ray James

Modern Life – November 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha and Ed:

Thank you for using my essay in the October issue. I wanted to assure you that it’s extremely unlikely that its publication will prove to be an embarrassment to y’all because of current or future behavior on my part.

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How prison changed my life

Essay by Ray James

Prisons – October 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN U.S. District Judge Richard Nottingham sentenced me to 70 months in prison on June 27, 1997, I did not realize that his tough, but fair decision–his words, not mine–represented a pivotal, perhaps even life-saving, action. My court-appointed attorney, Terri Harrington, asked the judge to allow 15 days before I surrendered to the U.S. Marshals to begin serving the sentence.

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No matter who wins, Chaffee will be conservative

Article by Ray James

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

No matter who wins, Chaffee will be conservative

by Ramòn Diego

Conservatives are destined to take Chaffee County District 1 and District 2 county commissioner seats next January regardless of who wins the Nov. 5 voting. Both the Republicans (in 1, Ron Leyba of Buena Vista, and in 2, incumbent Frank McMurry, Nathrop) and the Democrats (in 1, incumbent Jim Thompson, who lives just outside Buena Vista, and in 2, Jerry Leewaye, Salida) reside on the fiscally and politically conservative wings of their respective parties.

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The State of the Police

Article by Ray James

Local Law Enforcement – May 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Start talking these days with people in this region about cops and chances are good you’ll hear a “Used to be…,” such as, “Used to be you never heard sirens here, now ya hear them all the time.” or “Used to be the cops would take you home if you were too drunk to drive.” or “Used to be you’d never see a cop car on the street, now you see them all the time.”

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From Mayberry to Megabucks

Sidebar by Ray James

Law Enforcement – April 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

In 1959, when Sheriff Harold Thonhoff had to pick up a man arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on a Chaffee County warrant, he wanted to leave Chaffee county with sufficient law enforcement protection. Thus, he enlisted the young deputy district attorney, Bob Rush, to travel with him. Rush now recalls that Salida was left with a few law officers, Police Chief Harry Cable and one or two others, and the county with the undersheriff and a deputy.

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Who gets to wear a badge

Sidebar by Ray James

Law Enforcement – April 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Cops, lawmen, police, deputies, guards and other terms (but “sir” or “ma’am” work well when addressing said people in person) all equal “peace officers” in Colorado. And, like most everything else these days, “peace officer” is defined by state law.

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Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay for the time

Sidebar by Ray James

Law Enforcement – April 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Frémont County is playing follow the leader to Chaffee County Sheriff Ron Bergmann by instituting a “room charge” for convicted inmates at the county jail. Bergmann explained that since state law allows him to charge those in jail under conviction, he decided to do so to reduce the burden on county citizens.

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How many police are enough?

Article by Ray James

Law Enforcement – April 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Central Colorado’s relative peace likely proves as much of an attraction to most ex-urban immigrants as do the low real estate prices. The mountains offer bucolic refuge for those who have lived with drive-by shootings, gang violence, serial killers and street-corner drug markets. Once “home” in the Rockies, if newcomers think of law enforcement at all, it is to be thankful that there are enough police to ensure that their old nightmares don’t come for a visit.

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