Columns

Tue
24
Dec
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Alaimo: Invisible gremlins filling volleyballs

Why is there air? This was the title of a 1965 Bill Cosby album and part of a very funny bit that Bill did. As Bill tells it, he had a girlfriend in college who, being very smart and a philosophy major, would go around the house asking questions like “Why is there air?” Bill laughs and says that any phys-ed major knows why there is air. It’s to fill up volleyballs and basketballs.

Tue
24
Dec
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Todd: Inspections not what they seem

When the Mine Safety and Health Administration presented nearly 100 citations and orders to Revenue-Virginius mine operator Star Mine Operations, none of these citations related to the tragic incident in November that left two employees dead and sent nearly two dozen to area hospitals. News reports pounced on the recent citations made during investigation of the incident.
One news report suggested a link to one citation for poor ventilation in the mine as being the cause of the deaths. The citation, however, didn't specify where within the mine the poor ventilation was cited, nor when it occurred or the degree to which it occurred.
Making that leap, or suggesting it, was extraordinary, to say the least.
I asked a local restaurant owner recently, one who always achieves high marks during inspections, if his restaurant ever passes an inspection without being cited for an infraction. "Never," was the answer.

Wed
11
Dec
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Johnson: All I want for Christmas is Thanksgiving

I’m attempting to pen this column on a Thanksgiving holiday return flight from Philadelphia, Pee A, to Lost Wages, Nevada (alas, “cheap fares”). We had a wonderful three-generation convergence with family back east. Not having flown recently, I must say that Hell’s fury is a cakewalk compared to the ordeal of security lines, being patted down, felt up and having my private parts X rayed. Now I get to spend six hours wedged in a child sized seat—a full waist size larger and 10 pounds heavier than on the pre- Thanksgiving flight—inhaling atomized coughs, sneezes and spittle of three hundred strangers from God knows where. This is not a metaphor: we ARE sardines...fin to fin, shoulder to shoulder; backs to laps. Not if, but when, the coming plague purges our planetary Petri dish of humankind's greed, overconsumption and overpopulation, to something more realistic and sustainable, its mechanism will most assuredly be airplanes (cough).

Wed
11
Dec
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Todd: Being left out in the cold

• The experts were saying that pigskin carpetbagger Payton Manning, who used to toss in the warm confines of Indianapolis' dome in December, wouldn't fare well in the Denver chill. All he did Sunday, when the temperature was nearing single digits, was set a Denver Broncos franchise record with 39 completions, toss four touchdowns and lead his team to 51 points. Evidently, Payton can play well in any type of dome, including snow domes.
• My brother in Gunnison called the other day. He was excited that he had just bought an artificial tree. He and his wife, for years, had purchased a forest service permit to cut their own Christmas tree. But with the biting cold this year, he couldn't have been happier that he wasn't somewhere near Kebler Pass or Taylor Park in sub-zero weather sawing on a tree trunk.

Mon
02
Dec
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Todd: Reflection and remembrance

One hundred years ago this week, in Ouray County, life was not so different than today. On Nov. 21, 1913, mining dominated the headlines in the Ouray Herald. The Camp Bird Mine released its annual report, which disclosed net earnings of $270,042 on a gross of $679,693 revenues.
The Revenue mine, it was announced, was under new lease by J. E. Lyon of Denver. He hoped to have up to 15 men working the mine within weeks, provided his power supply was reliable.
David Foerster, of the zinc mill, announced he was closing his mill for a few weeks to make needed improvements. Manual labor reductions would increase productivity with the upgrades to be made.
And, the first meeting of the San Juan Mining Bureau was held that week in Silverton. B. H. Du Prau of Ouray was elected president and began the process of adopting by-laws and a constitution.

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Mon
02
Dec
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Alaimo: A brilliant shooting star

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Thu
21
Nov
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Magstadt: Like a deer caught in the headlines…uh…headlights

Headline:  "Local Areas Lead Kansas, Missouri in Deer Collisions"

Here in full was the story in the Kansas City Star:

Fall is the peak time for deer-car collisions, and the Kansas City area ranks at the top in both Kansas and Missouri.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism said Johnson County had the most crashes in that state last year with 304. Statewide, there were nearly 8,695 vehicle accidents involving deer, with two human deaths and 322 injuries.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said that Kansas City and Lees Summit led the state in deer collisions in 2011 Statewide, there were 3,980 deer-car collisions last year, with five human deaths and 411 injuries.

This is the time of year that deer focus on mating, and motorists are advised to be prepared for deer to dart across the road, especially between dusk and dawn.

Wed
13
Nov
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Johnson: On The Road - The birth and death of Thompson Springs, Utah

The 2010 census taker who wandered into Thompson Springs, Utah, managed to find 39 residents. I’m betting the 2020 census will not bring good news for the “Chamber of Commerce.” You see, Thompson is on “life support,” better days are faded memories; it hardly makes for a worthy pee stop. Once a thriving supply town with stores, cafe and railroad depot, Thompson has succumbed to the terminal grip of irrelevance—a building-by-building decay courtesy of neglect and the dry rot of Time.

Wed
13
Nov
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Todd: ACA numbers hard to get

Since last week, we've learned that around 250,000 Coloradans have lost their insurance due to the Affordable Care Act and must now go find new insurance. Some can extend their individual insurance for a year, with no guarantees what the insurance world will look like then. It sounds like the scaled-down version of the enrollment extension proposal that Republicans and a dozen or so Democrats, including Colorado's Sen. Mark Udall, are urging the Obama administration to put in place.
But, extension or no extension, there are a quarter of a million Coloradans who need to go shopping.

Thu
07
Nov
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Todd: Exchanging my healthcare

If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.

- Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, November 29, 1802

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