Power and markets

Letter from Ray Schoch

Energy – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed and Martha:

Correspondence with George Sibley and the theme of this year’s Headwaters Conference [electricity and power] reminds me that my former Front Range community of Loveland has some of the lowest electric utility rates in the state, in large part because Loveland has its own unobtrusive hydroelectric plant on the Big Thompson River, several miles upstream from the city itself.

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Answers to questions raised last month

Letter from Ray Schoch

Modern Life – November 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Martha:

You’ve included a couple of questions in “Survival of the Fittest” (a depressingly apropos title for this month’s “Letter from the Editors”) that I want to briefly address.

First, on page 28, you asked, “But do conservatives really want to eliminate public service agencies like the FDA, CDC, and FEMA?”

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Gone with the flow

Letter from Ray Schoch

Water – October 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

There have been some unusually wet periods in the upper Arkansas Valley this summer, if I remember correctly, but I think folks in Central Colorado should not think old water issues have gone away.

On September 1st, a Friday, I noticed that three sprinkler heads for a small parcel of land (consisting mostly of a detention pond) down the hill from my condo development in Lakewood had been running constantly for at least a full day. I made note of it mentally. The next day, they were still running. The sprinklers were still running full-bore on Sunday, too. Finally, on Monday, the 4th, I contacted Lakewood City Hall via e-mail to their Engineering Department. They forwarded my e-mail to an overworked soul in the Community Resources Office, who contacted me via e-mail in response.

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Adventures in Xeriscaping

Article by Ray Schoch

Water – May 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

ALL RIGHT CLASS, it’s time to review. Back in May of 2003, you read an article in this very magazine advocating the use of xeriscape, or “water-smart” landscape design.

No peeking, now — who was the author? Where did he live? What were his motivation(s)?

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One good rule

Letter from Ray Schoch

Colorado Central – February 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha and Ed:

(It does say “Letter From the Editors,” as in plural):

A fine job, my friends, on Issue Number 119, beginning on page 2 with Stacy Mitchell’s piece. That sales taxes fall disproportionally on those least able to afford them, and fluctuate in ways guaranteed to make any fiscal officer nervous, doesn’t even have to be part of the discussion. As long as we have locked ourselves into this odd system of community financial support, granting Wal-Mart, or any retailer, an exemption from paying the sales taxes that are for most political entities the primary source of revenue, seems genuinely and foolishly self-defeating.

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Colorful Colorado Central

Letter from Ray Schoch

Colorado Central – September 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

Four-color images are almost always a plus in a publication, but the cost is usually high, so I hope the move from spot color to four-color printing on some of Colorado Central’s pages turns out to be worth it or you and Martha will have trouble with the “…aside from making some money at home in our spare time…” part of your “corporate goal.” It seems especially effective to me on the covers, particularly on the front. I’m not sure that’s the case on the interior, however. Smaller photos (e.g., pages 8 and 9) do look better, but with low resolution (more-or-less an outgrowth of your paper stock?) images, I’m not sure printing them in four colors is really cost effective.

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Good intentions made good

Letter from Ray Schoch

Xeriscaping – June 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed, Martha and Colorado Central readers:

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions…” or so a Baptist minister once told me.

If he’s correct, I’m doomed. One of the things I’ve always disliked about many plant and gardening articles and books is the tendency of the writers to always use the Latin name(s) for the plant(s) they’re describing.

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A start on adapting a yard to the climate

Article by Ray Schoch

Drought – May 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

REVELATION

I came to Colorado after half a century in St. Louis, Missouri — where 40 inches of rain a year, the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi, and oh, yes humidity rivaling a Brazilian rain forest’s, made for a water supply which seldom entered my thoughts. I was retracing the Oregon Trail for the first time in 1975. Standing on top of Scott’s Bluff that June, looking west to the Laramie Range on the horizon, it dawned on me that, despite the bright Nebraska sun and a temperature of 85 degrees, I was comfortable. All those “but it’s a dry heat” jokes suddenly made sense.

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My fellow citizens

Essay by Ray Schoch

Politics – December 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

CREATING AND MAINTAINING a sense of community is not a concept invented by 21st century Americans. More than two thousand years ago, Plato wrote: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”

And a good many Romans, a few centuries later, agreed with Horace, who wrote: “Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor’s wall is ablaze.”

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Railroad reminisces

Letter from Ray Schoch

Colorado Central – January 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed & Martha:

It was a pleasure to meet you both at the Headwaters Conference, and I always enjoy being able to put a face with the name on the byline. I also enjoyed Ed’s irreverent — I hope — comment that “legalizing poverty” might be one way the Headwaters region might adapt to the rapidly changing economy of the 21st century.

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Trail frustrations

Letter from Ray Schoch

Colorado Central – November 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Trail frustrations

Ed and Martha:

Once again, nicely done (No. 80, that is).

Like Lou Bendrick, I’ll never be allowed to be an avid birder, though I’ve never provided Lakewood hummingbirds (perhaps an oxymoronic term) with a sugar overdose. Ms. Bendrick’s little piece reminds me, however (and I obviously have no idea how the Quillen pairing works in this regard), that spouses are sometimes among the least forgiving of acquaintances.

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Confessions of another ‘Green Extremist’

Letter from Ray Schoch

Motorized recreation – September 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

Regarding Hal Walter’s August piece on getting “motorheads” off the trails: Thank you, Hal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

I’ve had pretty much the same experiences he’s had (not counting the ones with pack stock), and liked them just about as much as he has.

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