Columns

Fri
27
Jun
atodd's picture

Summer discoveries of wildflowers and road trips

June, thank God. Summer has all but burst onto our mountain stage, much to the relief and glee of upstream Crevice dwellers in Lovely Ouray. Yes, long shadows are in retreat, lilac blossoms perfume the air and waterfalls gush headlong from burgundy cliffs in veils of white that’d be the envy of any blushing bride. Ours is a vertical world; the angle of scenic repose in Ouray cricks the necks of flatlanders who, beyond the rare eclipse, never had reason to look up before.
Warmth inches into the high country, eating away at the last vestiges of winters’ dirty white sheets. Blame it on Utah’s windborne red dirt; it seems to soil our snow every spring. Now, a couple feet of snow and June are all that stand between us and a bazillion alpine wildflowers bending in the breeze. As a sum- mertime loving hiker, photographer and ama- teur watercolorist, I’m itching for the upcoming “limited engagement” show.

Fri
27
Jun
atodd's picture

Wolves, sharks and crocs: World's deadliest animals?

A new study published in Science magazine shortly after this article was written has found that the current rate of species extinctions is more than 1,000 times greater than the natu- ral rate. The estimates are based on the fossil record and genetic data spanning millions of years. "These are higher than previously esti- mated and likely still underestimated. Future rates...are poised to increase. [R]apid progress in developing protected areas...are not ecolog- ically representative, nor do they optimally protect biodiversity."
Hmm. Maybe snakes are the world's dead- liest, come to think of it. Certainly, the answer is one of these four "deadly" animals, right?

Fri
27
Jun
atodd's picture

We would be nothing if not for a whole lot of nothing

Summer is here and Ridgway is suddenly full of noise and activity. Motorcycles and RVs fill the roads. Bicycle tours, fireworks, music festivals, weddings and family visits fill the weekends. People are rushing around making money, planting gardens and throwing BBQs. So I guess it must be time for another in my series of unrelated articles — this month I will be writing about nothing.  
Now you might think that there is not much one can write about nothing. But in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing is all around us and takes a very big role in our world and in our brains. It might even be fair to say that we wouldn’t be what we are without nothing.

Mon
02
Jun
atodd's picture

How Freedom of Information legislation fared

As readers of this paper know, we are mindful of the protections guaranteed by state and federal law for transparency in government. Following is a summary of legislation passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2014, courtesy of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition:
CORA research-and-retrieval fees
Beginning July 1, governmental entities may charge no more than $30 per hour to fulfill open records requests, with the first hour free. Fee policies must be posted on the Internet or elsewhere.

Wed
14
May
atodd's picture

Todd: Put on your traveling shoes

Kudos to the new owners of the Revenue-Virginius mine, who expressed their intent to keep the local workforce and management structure in place. They plan to expand from 250 tons of production a day at first to 400 tons per day. They also hope to become a local hub for processing raw materials.
With a loan payout period of 13 years, and an eye on expansion, it's clear that this group plans to grow and encourage the growth of mining in the San Juans.
The operation is subterranean, and the company estimates only one truck load of processed ore will be moved to Montrose for rail daily. Here's betting the impact will be felt far more economically than environmentally.
_________________________

Wed
14
May
atodd's picture

Grab the Goose, Claim the Common, Trample the Tortoise

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.
 – Anonymous, 17th Century English Folk Poem    
By now everybody has heard or read about the 67-year-old Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, who is defying the federal government – specifically – the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Bundy claims that his family has been on the land since the 1870s and ipso facto all of his rights to run cattle onto federal land predate any "grazing fees or "federal interference in Our Freedom."   

Mon
12
May
atodd's picture

Johnson: On being the target, the arrow, and the ball

“Certain events may reflect the significant dimensions of all your life, mirroring your entire history in a passing moment.” I recently enjoyed Michael Murphy’s early ‘70s novel, “Golf In The Kingdom.” Murphy penned a “Bible,” of sorts, with enough Zen, philosophy and parable to get you through life, not to mention a lifetime of golf. It’s certainly not a “manual”; there is scarcely a mention of mechanics and form. Instead, “Golf In The Kingdom” focuses on the mental aspects of the game — Sports Psychology, if you will. It has meditative overtones — an amalgam of Eastern religion, spirituality and mysticism — and a recurrent theme aligned with an old golf adage that proclaims, “The mind messes up more shots than the body.”

Mon
05
May
atodd's picture

RIDGWAY SCHOOL BOARD In defiance of accountability

If the Ridgway School Board got anything right over the past few years, it occurred the other night when it did not renew the contract of Secondary School Principal Jim Bob Hobbs. Don't, however, mistake this as a sign of being accountable.
This is the tale of how a school board created an environment wherein the hired help called the shots.
Whoever is the next superintendent of these schools would have had a tough time managing Hobbs. He had already shown his disdain for authority over the past year or so, and he managed to be entwined in a scheme with a board member that successfully engineered a plan to have his boss resign. Add to that he thought he was safe when, late on March 19, the board succumbed to pressure and did not take the expected action of not renewing his contract.

Wed
23
Apr
atodd's picture

Noting the strength and character of friends as pure as gold

Working the distillery, I interact with people who hold a wide range of political views. Usually as long as they do not digress to abuse or bigotry, I just nod and shake my head. The fun times are when people of differing opinions get each other going and still more fun when people who consider each other friends find out how much they disagree on politics or other subjects — yet remain friends.

Pages

Subscribe to Columns